Symptoms of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) are treated as they appear. When used early, basic interventions can significantly improve the chances of survival. These include:

  • Providing fluids and electrolytes (body salts) through infusion into the vein (intravenously).
  • Offering oxygen therapy to maintain oxygen status.
  • Using medication to support blood pressure, reduce vomiting and diarrhea and to manage fever and pain.
  • Treating other infections, if they occur.

Recovery from EVD depends on good supportive care and the patient’s immune response. Those who do recover develop antibodies that can last 10 years, possibly longer. It is not known if people who recover are immune for life or if they can later become infected with a different species of Ebola virus. Some survivors may have long-term complications, such as joint and vision problems.

Antiviral Drugs

There is currently no antiviral drug licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat EVD in people. Drugs that are being developed to treat EVD work by stopping the virus from making copies of itself.

Blood transfusions from survivors and mechanical filtering of blood from patients are also being explored as possible treatments for EVD. [1]


[1] Kaner J, Schaak S.  Understanding Ebola:  the 2014 Epidemic.  Globalization and Health (2016) 12:53.