Ebola fact sheet
Ebola virus disease
Ebola virus disease (EVD), formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever, is a rare, severe and often fatal illness that occurs almost exclusively in some countries in east, central and west Africa.
The Ebola virus is not found in Australia.
People who travel in a country affected by Ebola should be aware of travel warnings and minimise their risk of exposure to the virus.
- In recent years there have been outbreaks of EVD in Uganda, Guinea and the Democratic Republic of the Congo
- There is a very small risk that a person from one of these west and central African countries may travel to Australia and become sick with Ebola.
To protect the public, the following national border and Tasmanian public health measures are now in place.
- Travellers from Ebola-affected countries
- are identified by Customs at the Australian border at international airports, and
- Quarantine Officers check their health and ask them about exposure to Ebola.
- Travellers from Ebola-affected countries who are ill as they arrive
- will be transferred safely to the state Quarantine Hospital for further assessment, and
- will not be allowed to travel on to Tasmania from their mainland airport of arrival.
- Travellers from Ebola-affected countries who have had contact with Ebola cases, but who are well (such as returning humanitarian workers), will typically be able to travel on to Tasmania. Public Health Services will arrange monitoring of their health for 21 days after leaving an Ebola-affected country.
- Monitoring and supporting persons returned from Ebola-affected countries ensures that if they become ill, they can be promptly identified and safely transported to and managed in a designated Quarantine Hospital (in Tasmania, the Royal Hobart Hospital).
The Tasmanian health system is well prepared to identify and safely manage such a person, to protect their health, Tasmanian healthcare workers and the Tasmanian community.
Ebola information for health professionals
The incubation period for Ebola (the time from exposure to infection to first becoming ill) is typically eight to 10 days but can be up to 21 days.
It is therefore possible that a person could return from an Ebola-affected country, become ill some days later, and then seek care.
A person infected with Ebola is not infectious until they develop symptoms of the disease.
The transmission risk from a patient with Ebola in the early stages of disease with limited symptoms is much lower than a patient with severe disease.
Links to more information
- View more information about Ebola virus disease from the World Health Organization and the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care