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Ebola Virus Disease

Mothers with confirmed or suspected Ebola virus infection should not breastfeed their infants.

Ebola virus

Ebola virus disease (Ebola) is a viral hemorrhagic fever that is spread through contact with blood and other body fluids (including urine, saliva, sweat, feces, vomit, breast milk, and semen), of a person who is sick with or has died from Ebola.

Is it safe for mothers with Ebola to breastfeed their infants?

No. Per CDC’s guidance, Recommendations for Breastfeeding/Infant Feeding in the Context of Ebola Virus Disease, “(w)hen a lactating woman is sick with Ebola virus disease (EVD), her breast milk can have Ebola virus in it, just as any other body fluids. Breastfeeding is often the best choice for feeding an infant, particularly in settings where resources are limited. However, when safe alternatives to breastfeeding and infant care exist, a mother with confirmed or suspected Ebola virus infection should not have close contact with her infant (including breastfeeding) to reduce the risk of transmitting Ebola virus to her child.”

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