Ebola is spread through direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes) by:

  • Person-to-person: Ill person’s body fluids (blood, urine, saliva, feces, vomit, and semen)
  • Surface-to person: Objects (such as needles and PPE) contaminated with infected body fluids
  • Animal-to-person: Contact with infected animals in Africa (wild animals hunted for meat or bats)

Ebola cannot be spread by air, water, or food.

Preventing the Spread

Don’t travel to countries where the Ebola disease is active. View CDC Travel Health Notices when planning overseas travel.

If you must travel to an area with known Ebola cases, do the following:

  • Practice careful hygiene. Avoid contact with blood and body fluids.
  • Do not handle items that may have come in contact with an infected person’s blood or body fluids.
  • Avoid funeral or burial rituals that require handling the body of someone who has died from Ebola.
  • Avoid contact with bats, primates, and blood, fluids, and raw meat prepared from these animals (bushmeat).
  • Avoid hospitals where Ebola patients are being treated.
  • After you return, monitor your health for 21 days and call your healthcare provider immediately if you develop symptoms of Ebola. Use the Self Monitor Chart to document potential symptoms, contacts, and travel.

Page last updated: October 28, 2019