This web page provides information about Ebola viruses and EHF for workers and employers. The web page includes sections on:
- Background, including the origins of Ebola virus and EHF
- Hazard recognition
- Medical information
- Standards for protecting workers from Ebola virus
- Control and prevention of EHF
- Additional resources
Quick Facts: Ebola virus and EHF
- Currently, Ebola virus and EHF do not pose a threat to most U.S. workers. However, exposure to the virus or someone with EHF may be more likely in certain sectors, including the healthcare, mortuary/death care, and airline servicing industries.
- At this time, there is not a widespread Ebola outbreak in the U.S. The ongoing outbreak is limited to countries in West Africa. Aside from repatriated medical and aid workers being treated for EHF at specialized facilities within the U.S., the U.S. has only a single, isolated case of EHF that originated in Liberia. Public health officials are working to ensure EHF does not spread within the U.S.
- Aside from repatriated medical and aid workers being treated for EHF at specialized hospital facilities within the U.S., the U.S. has only a limited number of other cases of EHF. These cases had close contact with an individual who was treated for EHF at a U.S. hospital after arriving in the U.S. from Liberia. Public health officials are working to ensure EHF does not spread within the U.S.
- Ebola is typically spread through contact with body fluids from a living or deceased person or animal with EHF, though some medical and housekeeping tasks may expose workers to aerosolized droplets containing Ebola virus.
- Until a person develops symptoms of EHF, he or she is not considered contagious.
- Employers must take steps to protect their workers from exposure to Ebola virus on the job.
- NEW OSHA’s Fact Sheet, Cleaning and Decontamination of Ebola on Surfaces (PDF*), provides guidance on protecting workers in non-healthcare/non-laboratory settings from exposure to Ebola virus, and from harmful levels of chemicals used for cleaning and disinfection.