How Ebola virus is spread

The Ebola virus is spread in the blood, body fluids or organs of a person or animal with the infection.

For example, it can be spread by:

  • directly touching the body of someone with the infection who has symptoms or recently died – the virus can survive for several days outside the body
  • cleaning up body fluids (blood, stools, urine or vomit) or touching the soiled clothing of an infected person
  • handling unsterilised needles or medical equipment used in the care of the infected person
  • having sex with an infected person without using a condom – studies show traces of Ebola may remain in a man's semen many months after he has recovered
  • handling or eating raw or undercooked \"bushmeat\"

Ebola can't be caught through routine social contact, such as shaking hands, with people who don't have symptoms.

Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 21 Dec 2018