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Ebola Virus: how to spot and report the disease

Advice on what to do if you suspect there is an outbreak of this infectious disease

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Ebola virus can occur in humans and other primates, such as monkeys and apes.

Latest situation: the last human case in Great Britain was in 2014.

See information on current Ebola outbreaks.

Clinical signs in monkeys and apes

  • anorexia
  • coughing
  • weakness
  • bleeding

The incubation period of the disease in monkeys and apes is 2-14 days, and infection is usually fatal in these animals.

Ebola is notifiable in non-human primates. If you suspect signs of any notifiable diseases, you must immediately notify your Scotland: field service local office at the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA). Failure to do so is an offence.

How Ebola Virus is spread

Ebola can be spread from animals to humans through close contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected animals, such as chimpanzees, gorillas and monkeys.

Human health implications

There are human health implications, and the virus is transmitted from person to person through direct contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected persons. People can also become infected through contact with objects, such as needles or soiled clothing, that have been contaminated with infected secretions.

Disease control

If Ebola virus is confirmed in an animal, the outbreak will be controlled in line with the contingency framework plan for exotic notifiable diseases.

Legislation

The main legislation relating to the control of the Ebola virus is The Animal Health (Notification and Control Measures) (Miscellaneous Amendments) (Scotland) Order 2021

Contact

Ebola is notifiable in non-human primates. If you suspect signs of any notifiable diseases, you must immediately notify your Scotland: field service local office at the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA). Failure to do so is an offence.

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