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What causes Ebola?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

Ebola fever is caused by a family of 5 closely related viruses. Experts believe that outbreaks of the illness begin when people come into contact with infected animals. Ebola then spreads from person to person through blood, organs or bodily fluids of infected people, or via surfaces and materials (e.g. bedding, clothing) contaminated with these fluids. To get the infection, a person must come into direct contact with the virus--that is, the virus must touch the person's broken skin or mucous membranes.

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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.