Ebola case definition

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Rim Halaby, M.D. [2]; Yazan Daaboul, M.D.

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Patients with epidemiologic risk factors who present with an elevated body temperature are suspected to have Ebola virus disease (EVD).[1] Confirmation is often made by laboratory diagnostic evidence.[1] Early recognition of Ebola virus disease (EVD) is critical for infection control. Health care providers should be alert for and evaluate any patient suspected of having EVD.[1]

Updated Case Definition

Person Under Investigation (PUI)

A person who has both consistent signs or symptoms and risk factors as follows[1]:

  1. Elevated body temperature or subjective fever or symptoms, including severe headache, fatigue, muscle pain, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, or unexplained hemorrhage


  1. An epidemiologic risk factor within the 21 days before the onset of symptoms.

Confirmed Cases

A PUI with laboratory-confirmed diagnostic evidence of Ebola virus infection.[1]

  • 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 contact within the preceding 21 days with a person with Ebola while the person was symptomatic.[1]
  • 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 followstandard, contact, and droplet precautions, including the use of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE). Infection control personnel should be contacted immediately.[1]

If Ebola is suspected, the local or state health department should be immediately contacted for consultation and to assess whether testing is indicated and the need for initiating identification of contacts.[1]

Initial Case Definition

Person Under Investigation (PUI)

A person who has both consistent symptoms and risk factors as follows[1]:

  1. Clinical criteria, which includes fever of greater than 38.6 degrees Celsius or 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit, and additional symptoms such as severe headache, muscle pain, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, or unexplained hemorrhage


  1. Epidemiologic risk factors within the past 21 days before the onset of symptoms, such as contact with blood or other body fluids or human remains of a patient known to have or suspected to have EVD; residence in or travel to an area where EVD transmission is active; or direct handling of bats or non-human primates from disease-endemic areas.

Probable Case

A PUI whose epidemiologic risk factors include high or low risk exposure(s)[1]

Confirmed Case

A case with laboratory-confirmed diagnostic evidence of Ebola virus infection[1]


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 "Case Definition for Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)". www.cdc.gov. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). October 27 2014. Retrieved October 28 2014. Check date values in: |accessdate=, |date= (help)

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