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How is the Ebola virus transmitted?

Ebola virus is spread through direct contact with the body fluids of a person who is sick with or has died from Ebola; objects (like needles and syringes) that have been contaminated with infected body fluids; infected fruit bats or nonhuman primates (apes and monkeys); and, possibly from contact with semen from a man who has recovered from Ebola (for example, by having oral, vaginal, or anal sex). The virus in blood and body fluids can enter another person’s body through broken skin or unprotected mucous membranes in, for example, the eyes, nose, or mouth.

There is no evidence that Ebola can spread from person to person before symptoms start, through the air, or through coughing or sneezing; but as a precaution, people should avoid contact with respiratory droplets (splashes or sprays) of people with Ebola.

Ebola is not spread through the air or by water or, in general, by food. However, in Africa, Ebola may be spread as a result of handling bushmeat (wild animals hunted for food) and contact with infected bats. There is no evidence that mosquitoes or other insects can transmit Ebola virus. Only mammals (for example, humans, monkeys, and apes) have shown the ability to become infected with and spread Ebola virus.

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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.