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HAN 368: CDC Ebola Response Update #4

This information is for historic and reference purposes only.  Content has not been updated since the last reviewed date at the bottom of this page.

Distributed via the CDC Health Alert Network
August 28, 2014 12:00 ET (12:00 PM ET)


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is working with other U.S. government agencies, the World Health Organization, and other domestic and international partners in an international response to the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa. This document summarizes key messages about the outbreak and the response. It will be updated as new information becomes available and distributed regularly. Please share the document with others as appropriate.


CDC has activated its Emergency Operations Center to respond to Ebola. Below, please find resources and guidance that we hope will be useful to you and your organization. Please share with your colleagues and networks.

In this HAN INFOService Message

  • Announcements
  • Ebola Cases and Deaths (West Africa)
  • Online Resources
  • Summary Key Messages

CDC Media Statement: “CDC Deployee Returns from West Africa by Charter Flight” (NEW)

Ebola Cases and Deaths (West Africa)
Updated: August 20, 2014

  • Suspected and Confirmed Case Count: 2615
  • Suspected Case Deaths: 1427
  • Laboratory Confirmed Cases: 1528

Updates on cases and deaths can be found on the CDC website:

Online Resources

General Outbreak Information

What's New

Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever English: Spanish:

Questions and Answers on Ebola

World Health Organization Disease Outbreak News

New Or Updated Guidance Documents: (Full range of guidance documents can be found at the CDC Ebola Web site

Interim Guidance for Specimen Collection, Transport, Testing, and Submission (UPDATED)

Interim Guidance for Emergency Medical Services Systems and 9-1-1 Public Safety Answering Points (NEW)

Guidance for Safe Handling of Human Remains (NEW)

Advice for Humanitarian Aid Workers (NEW)

Multimedia Resources

Outbreak Response Photos

Ebola Radio Health Messages in Local Languages

Print Resources

Outbreak Map

Digital Press Kit


Infection Prevention and Control of Ebola Virus Disease in U.S. Hospitals

CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden discusses Ebola outbreak

Content Syndication

Put CDC content on Ebola on your website that will update automatically.

Social Media Resources

Follow us on Twitter







Like us on Facebook


CDC Emergency Preparedness and Response

CDC Travelers’ Health

CDC Global

Summary Key Messages

  • The 2014 Ebola outbreak is the largest Ebola outbreak in history and the first in West Africa. The current outbreak is affecting four countries in West Africa: Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone but does not pose a significant risk to the United States. A small number of cases in Nigeria have been associated with a man from Liberia who traveled to Lagos and died from Ebola, but the virus does not appear to have been widely spread.
  • In the past week, the Democratic Republic of Congo has reported cases of Ebola in a remote area of the country. These cases do not appear to be epidemiologically linked to the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa, based on preliminary investigation.
  • The outbreak in West Africa is worsening, but CDC, along with other U.S. government agencies and international partners, is taking steps to respond to this rapidly changing situation.
  • Ebola poses no substantial risk to the U.S. general population.
  • On August 8, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the current Ebola outbreak is a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).
  • A person infected with Ebola virus is not contagious until symptoms appear.
  • The virus is spread through direct contact (through broken skin or unprotected mucous membranes in, for example, the eyes, nose, or mouth) with the blood or body fluids such as, but not limited to, feces, saliva, urine, vomit, and semen of a person who is sick with Ebola, or with objects like needles that have been contaminated with the virus, or infected animals.
    • 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.
  • As of August 27, no confirmed Ebola cases have been reported in the United States.
    • In 2014, two U.S. healthcare workers who were infected with Ebola virus in Liberia were transported to a hospital in the United States. Both patients have been released from the hospital after laboratory testing confirmed that they no longer have Ebola virus circulating in their blood. CDC has advised the hospital that there is no public health concern with their release and that they do not pose a risk to household contacts or to the public.
    • CDC has received many calls from health departments and hospitals about suspected Ebola cases in travelers from the affected countries. These calls have been triaged appropriately, with some samples being sent to CDC for testing. All samples sent to CDC have thus far been negative.
  • As a precaution, CDC is communicating with American healthcare workers about how to detect and isolate patients who may have Ebola and how they can protect themselves from infection.
  • Early recognition of Ebola is important for providing appropriate patient care and preventing the spread of infection. Healthcare providers should be alert for and evaluate any patients who may have Ebola.
  • CDC and its partners at U.S. ports of entry are currently not doing enhanced screening of passengers traveling from the affected countries. However, CDC works with international public health organizations, other federal agencies, and the travel industry to identify sick travelers arriving in the United States and take public health actions to prevent the spread of communicable diseases. 
  • CDC also is assisting with exit screening and communication efforts in West Africa to prevent sick travelers from getting on planes.
  • CDC recommends that people avoid nonessential travel to Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.
  • CDC recommends that people practice enhanced precautions if traveling to Nigeria.
  • Recommendations and guidance may change as new information becomes available.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) protects people's health and safety by preventing and controlling diseases and injuries; enhances health decisions by providing credible information on critical health issues; and promotes healthy living through strong partnerships with local, national and international organizations.

Department of Health and Human Services

HAN Message Types

  • Health Alert: Conveys the highest level of importance; warrants immediate action or attention. Example: HAN00001
  • Health Advisory: Provides important information for a specific incident or situation; may not require immediate action. Example: HAN00346
  • Health Update: Provides updated information regarding an incident or situation; unlikely to require immediate action. Example: HAN00342
  • Info Service: Provides general information that is not necessarily considered to be of an emergent nature. Example: HAN00345

This message was distributed to state and local health officers, state and local epidemiologists, state and local laboratory directors, public information officers, HAN coordinators, and clinician organizations.