How can I avoid getting Ebola?

Alan R. Pope, MD
Pulmonary Disease
To avoid getting Ebola, wash your hands frequently, avoid contact with people who have Ebola, and call your doctor with any questions about your health. The vast majority of Americans won't come in contact with Ebola. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a travel advisory recommending against non-essential travel to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. If you are traveling to West Africa, check with the U.S. Department of State about avoiding facilities where people with Ebola are being treated.

Travelers returning from Africa are checked for symptoms at the airport and tracked for 21 days by local health departments. Monitor your health by taking your temperature daily and seek medical attention immediately if you develop a fever or other symptoms.
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Please note, the information contained on this website is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of a qualified health care provider if you have questions regarding your medical condition or before starting any new treatment. In the event of a medical emergency always call 911 or proceed to your nearest emergency care facility.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
What are the best ways to protect yourself against Ebola? Watch as Dr. Oz explains how knowledge is the best tool.
Dr. Darria Long Gillespie, MD
Emergency Medicine
The best way to avoid exposing yourself to Ebola is to stay away from countries where it is an epidemic,  as well as people who have Ebola. This is why people who travel to those countries or caregivers are at the highest risk. If you have a loved one or anyone you know that is in this risk group for Ebola, make sure that they are monitoring themselves for symptoms and reporting any concerning signs or symptoms to the State Department of Health.  
Keith Roach, MD
Internal Medicine
The best way to avoid getting ebola is to not get exposed in the first place, which includes not traveling to West Africa. Fortunately, in the U.S. the likelihood of being exposed to Ebola is almost zero. The widespread concern stems from just a few high-profile cases of people who have come to the United States with Ebola, and unfortunate cases where proper protective mechanisms weren't put into place early enough and led to people becoming ill. 
You can take several precautions to help prevent Ebola. When traveling, check for any Ebola outbreaks in the countries where you are staying. You can contact the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to obtain information about recent Ebola outbreaks. If you visit an area where there is an Ebola outbreak, avoid contact with infected people. Health care workers need to strictly follow safety precautions when caring for people who are infected with Ebola.

Continue Learning about Ebola



Ebola virus disease is a severe, often fatal illness in humans. It is caused by a family of viruses that originate in central and west Africa. The disease is rare and occurs in sporadic outbreaks. Ebola is spread through direct co...

ntact with the bodily fluids of infected individuals or objects, such as needles or bedsheets, that have been contaminated with the virus. Your risk of contracting Ebola is very low unless you visit an area where it is widespread. There are no approved treatments for the disease, but some experimental treatments have shown promise. Vaccines are currently under development.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.