Laboratory Diagnosis of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)

Diagnosing Ebola in an person who has been infected for only a few days is difficult, because the early symptoms, such as fever, are nonspecific to Ebola infection and are seen often in patients with more commonly occurring diseases, such as malaria and typhoid fever.

However, if a person has the early symptoms of Ebola and has had contact with the blood or body fluids of a person sick with Ebola, contact with objects that have been contaminated with the blood or body fluids of a person sick with Ebola, or contact with infected animals, they should be isolated and public health professionals notified. Samples from the patient can then be collected and tested to confirm infection.

Timeline of Infection Diagnostic tests available
Within a few days after symptoms begin
Later in disease course or after recovery
  • IgM and IgG antibodies
Retrospectively in deceased patients
  • Immunohistochemistry testing
  • PCR
  • Virus isolation

Download Laboratory Guidelines for Testing of Ebola Virus Disease: Click to Download

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