The possibility of contracting Marburg or Ebola virus is extremely low unless you've had direct contact with the body fluids of an infected person or animal.
If you think that you or a family member may have been exposed to one of the viruses, call your doctor or go to the nearest emergency room immediately. If you're not referred to an infectious disease specialist, ask to see one.
If you're traveling or working abroad, the nearest U.S. Embassy can help you find a doctor. Be sure to tell your doctor or hospital about your symptoms before your visit so that precautions can be taken to prevent transmission of the virus to others.
What you can do
Before your appointment, to help your doctor find the cause of your symptoms as quickly as possible, write a list that answers the following questions:
- What symptoms do you have? When did they start?
- Have you recently traveled in Africa? If so, where exactly?
- If you were recently in Africa, did you hunt or eat any monkeys?
- Have you recently been in any caves or underground mines in Africa?
- Are you employed in a lab that uses monkeys in research? If so, do these monkeys come from Africa?
If possible, take a family member or friend with you. Sometimes it can be difficult to absorb all the information provided to you in the hospital or during an appointment. Someone who accompanies you may remember something that you missed or forgot.
Jun. 18, 2011
- Ebola hemorrhagic fever fact sheet. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/spb/mnpages/dispages/Fact_Sheets/Ebola_Fact_Booklet.pdf. Accessed April 25, 2011.
- Marburg hemorrhagic fever fact sheet. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/spb/mnpages/dispages/fact_sheets/fact_sheet_marburg_hemorrhagic_fever.pdf. Accessed April 25, 2011.
- Bray M. Epidemiology, pathogenesis and clinical manifestations of Ebola and Marburg hemorrhagic fever. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed April 25, 2011.
- Peters CJ. Marburg and Ebola virus hemorrhagic fevers. In: Mandell JE, et al. Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-443-06839-3..X0001-X--TOP&isbn=978-0-443-06839-3&uniqId=230100505-57. Accessed April 25, 2011.
- Bray M. Diagnosis and treatment of Ebola and Marburg hemorrhagic fever. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed April 25, 2011.