Self-management

Prevention

Prevention focuses on avoiding contact with the viruses. The following precautions can help prevent infection and spread of Ebola and Marburg.

  • Avoid areas of known outbreaks. Before traveling to Africa, find out about current epidemics by checking the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
  • Wash your hands frequently. As with other infectious diseases, one of the most important preventive measures is frequent hand-washing. Use soap and water, or use alcohol-based hand rubs containing at least 60 percent alcohol when soap and water aren't available.
  • Avoid bush meat. In developing countries, avoid buying or eating the wild animals, including nonhuman primates, sold in local markets.
  • Avoid contact with infected people. In particular, caregivers should avoid contact with an infected person's body fluids and tissues, including blood, semen, vaginal secretions and saliva. People with Ebola or Marburg are most contagious in the later stages of the disease.
  • Follow infection-control procedures. If you're a health care worker, wear protective clothing, such as gloves, masks, gowns and eye shields. Keep infected people isolated from others. Dispose of needles and sterilize other instruments.
  • Don't handle remains. The bodies of people who have died of Ebola or Marburg disease are still contagious. Specially organized and trained teams should bury the remains, using appropriate safety equipment.

Vaccine development

Scientists are working on a variety of vaccines that would protect people from Ebola and Marburg viruses. Some of the results have been promising, but further testing is needed.

July 15, 2017
References
  1. Ebola (Ebola virus disease). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/. Accessed Jan. 31, 2017.
  2. Ebola (Ebola virus disease): Sierra Leone trial to introduce a vaccine against Ebola (STRIVE) questions and answers. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/strive/qa.html. Accessed Jan. 31, 2017.
  3. Marburg hemorrhagic fever (Marburg HF). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/vhf/marburg/. Accessed Jan. 31, 2017.
  4. Bray M, et al. Epidemiology pathogenesis of Ebola virus disease. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 31, 2017.
  5. Bray M, et al. Treatment and prevention of Ebola virus disease. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 31, 2017.
  6. Bray M, et al. Clinical manifestation and diagnosis of Ebola virus disease. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 31, 2017.
  7. Bray M. Marburg virus. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 31, 2017.