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Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)
Ebola Toolkit



Ebola, previously known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever, is a rare and deadly disease caused by infection with one of the Ebola virus strains. Ebola can cause disease in humans and nonhuman primates (monkeys, gorillas, and chimpanzees).

The 2014 Ebola epidemic is the largest in history, affecting multiple countries in West Africa. Three imported cases, including one death, and two locally acquired cases in healthcare workers have been reported in the United States.

CNN reported that the third imported case, a legal permanent resident of the U.S. who had been treating patients in Sierra Leone, died of the virus on November 17, 2014 at Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha.

According to Time magazine's November 17, 2014 edition, while the US may only have seen a handful of Ebola cases, the virus is still one of the top three health worries for Americans, according to a new Gallup survey.

It is important that dental healthcare workers:

  • understand the science of Ebola and that is is spread through direct contact (e.g., through broken skin or through mucous membranes of the eyes, nose or mouth with blood or body fluids of a person who is sick with EVD or with objects like needles/syringes that have been contaminated with the virus,
  • appreciate the low level of risk in dentistry,
  • review infection control policies and procedures and
  • be prepared to address any transmissible disease including influenza and other diseases that are more likely to present in a dental practice.

OSAP, in cooperation with the American Dental Association and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducted a webinar on EVD for dentistry.

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Regulations & Guidelines


(1) A person infected with Ebola is not contagious until symptoms appear. Signs and symptoms of Ebola include fever (greater than 38°C or 100.4°F) and severe headache, muscle pain, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, or unexplained bleeding or bruising.

The virus is spread through direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes) with blood and body fluids (urine, feces, saliva, vomit, and semen) of a person who is sick with Ebola, or with objects (like needles) that have been contaminated with the virus. Ebola is not spread through the air or by water or, in general, by food.

(2) MMWR Publications addressing lessons learned in Africa and the US. Click HERE to access.

(3)  Updated Guidance on Personal Protective Equipment to be Used by Healthcare Workers During Management of Patients with EVD in US Hospitals

(4) Resources to protect healthcare personnel

(5) Case Definition for Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)


The ADA Division of Science provides advice and questions to include in dental practice health questionnaires


The Occupational Safety & Health Administration has organized a site with hazard recognition, medical information, worker protection standards, control and prevention strategies and additional resources.

Ebola Virus Disease Global Alert and Response (GAR)

Ebola Virus Disease - Current Situation

U.S. National Library of Medicine  Ebola Outbreak 2018 – present

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Best Practices

Key Learnings

What does this emerging disease mean to dentistry?

While it is unlikely that a patient suffering from Ebola will present at a dental office, dental healthcare workers should stay on top of the Ebola situation by keeping abreast of the latest news developments and ensure that all patients receive a medical history, including a travel history.

Click HERE for 3 tips for the oral healthcare profession on Ebola.

Related Articles

(1) From the Journal of the American Medical Association, "Ebola Virus Disease & Children: What Pediatric Health Care Professionals Need to Know"

 (2) MedlinePlus - Ebola


(1) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Facts About Ebola

Questions and Answers on Ebola

FAQs on Environmental Infection Control

Steps CDC is Taking for Hospital Preparedness for Ebola Treatment

(2) World Health Organization

Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)

Fact Sheet

Frequently asked questions on Ebola virus disease

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Instructional Resources

Infographics and Videos

(1) Facts About Ebola Infographic

(2) Stopping the Ebola Outbreak Infographic

(3) Webinar: Ebola, What It Means To West Africa and the World (Columbia University, Oct. 27 - 1-4 pm ET)

(4) Public Broadcasting (NOVA) Program "Surviving Ebola" aired 10/8/2014. 53:07

(5) Contact Tracing Video by CDC, published 9/17/14. 02:46

(6) Current Geographic Distribution of Cases

Image Library

(1) Ebolavirus Ecology

Images from CDC

Educational Resources from OSAP

(1) Free online interactive program on infection control principles covering CDC Guidelines for Dental Health-Care Settings (7 modules)

(2) Infection Control Boot Camp (24 hours CE available)

(3) Website dedicated to infection control in dentistry (check "Knowledge Center")

(4) Interactive Guide for Infection Control "Team Huddles" (free to OSAP members)

Ebola Webinar for Dental Professionals

On October 29, 2014, the ADA, CDC and OSAP, hosted a webinar to answer specific questions regarding the outbreak of Ebola and the implications for dental offices.

The webinar consisted of 4 chapters, each one featuring a different speaker:

  1. Dana Meaney-Delman MD, Medical Officer and Senior Medical Adviser for Preparedness, CDC (Run time: 29:02)
  2. Maxine Feinberg DDS, ADA President (Run time: 2:11)
  3. Dan Meyer DDS, ADA Chief Science Officer (Run time: 2.25)
  4. John O'Keefe BDentSc, MDentSc, OSAP Chairman (Run time: 3:59)

Further Information 

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Patient Resources

CDC's travel notice on Ebola



CDC Feature


(1) Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever

(2) Ebola and Pets


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