Ebola: Idaho’s current situation
There are no suspected or confirmed cases of Ebola in Idaho. While an outbreak in Idaho is unlikely, there always is a possibility we
Do You Have A Question About Ebola?
Questions and answers are posted at the bottom of this page.
could see a person be diagnosed with Ebola in our state. This is why Idaho public health, hospitals and healthcare professionals are working together to protect Idaho communities.
What we are doing:
- Idaho has a strong, effective collaborative process that works. Even though the risk in Idaho is low, all of us are concerned about what has occurred nationally. That is why our local and state public health officials and Homeland Security have met with medical professionals, hospitals, emergency responders, universities and airports to discuss the need to look for symptoms that could indicate Ebola virus infection and educate health workers about effective response protocols to a suspect case. Click here for the latest updates for Idaho preparation activities.
Idaho public health has a well-established disease monitoring and tracking system for infectious diseases, including Ebola. This system is a collective effort among state and local public health agencies, our state’s healthcare community, and federal health authorities, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- If there’s a suspected Ebola case in Idaho, local public health district workers are ready to mobilize and identify all possible contacts of suspect patients. Ebola doesn't spread as easily as many other infections; it takes direct contact with the blood or other bodily fluids of an infected person. Contact tracing by local public health staff is extremely effective in halting the chain of transmission. Idaho has developed plans for monitoring an asymptomatic health worker or traveler returning from an infected country.
- Hospitals and health-care facilities are screening patients with symptoms similar to Ebola and are asking about travel history or any physical contact with an Ebola patient. Idaho hospitals have strong infection control practices to quickly and safely isolate a possible infectious patient to protect other patients and healthcare workers.
- If Idaho identifies a possible infection, there are 23 labs in the nation that can test for Ebola virus and provide results within 24 to 48 hours of submission.
Things you should know about Ebola:
Even though Ebola has not been identified in Idaho, people should always take precautions to protect themselves from all infectious diseases by:
- Ebola does not spread through the air, by water or in food in the United States. It spreads through direct contact with the blood or body fluids (such as urine, feces, saliva, vomit, semen) of a person who is sick with Ebola. If you do not have contact with bodily fluids of a contagious Ebola patient, you will not contract the disease.
- A person infected with Ebola virus is not contagious until symptoms appear. They often include fever, vomiting, and diarrhea. Because of these physical symptoms, it is usually obvious when a person is infected and contagious with Ebola.
- There is no approved vaccine for Ebola. There are several medications being evaluated that may help with treatment, but most treatment consists of supportive therapies.
- Washing your hands often with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, especially after being out in public. Don’t touch your eyes or mouth until you have thoroughly washed your hands.
- Avoiding people who are sick.
- Covering coughs and sneezes with a sleeve or tissue.
- Staying home when sick to avoid spreading infections to other people.
- Making sure you are up-to-date on protective immunizations, including the flu vaccine.