Case Definition for Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)

Updated: November 16, 2014

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

Person Under Investigation (PUI)

A person who has both consistent signs or symptoms and risk factors as follows should be considered a PUI:

  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. See CDC’s evaluation algorithm pdf icon[PDF – 1 page] to determine if testing for EVD is indicated.

If a diagnosis of EVD 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 EVD is suspected, contact the local or state health department immediately for consultation and to assess if testing is indicated and the need for initiating identification of contacts.