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Case Definition for Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)

Updated: November 16, 2014

Ebola virus disease (Ebola) is a rare and deadly viral illness which is reportable to the National Notifiable Disease Surveillance System (NNDSS) in all U.S. states and territories. Early recognition of Ebola is critical for infection control. Health-care providers should be alert for and evaluate any patients suspected of having Ebola.

Person Under Investigation (PUI)

A person who has both consistent signs or symptoms and risk factors as follows:

  1. Elevated body temperature or subjective fever or symptoms, including severe headache, fatigue, muscle pain, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, or unexplained hemorrhage; AND
  2. An epidemiologic risk factor within the 21 days before the onset of symptoms.

Confirmed Case

Laboratory-confirmed diagnostic evidence of Ebola virus infection.

Early recognition is critical to controlling the spread of Ebola virus. Healthcare providers should evaluate the patient’s epidemiologic risk, including a history of travel to a country with widespread Ebola virus transmission or cases in urban settings with uncertain control measures or contact within the preceding 21 days with a person with Ebola while the person was symptomatic. Click here [PDF - 1 page] for an evaluation algorithm to determine if testing for Ebola is indicated.

If a diagnosis of Ebola is being considered, the patient should be isolated in a single room (with a private bathroom), and healthcare personnel should follow standard, contact, and droplet precautions, including the use of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE). Infection control personnel should be contacted immediately.

If Ebola is suspected, the local or state health department should be immediately contacted for consultation and to assess whether or not testing is indicated and the need for initiating identification of contacts.