Public Health Agency of Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Share this page

National Case Definition: Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)

  • A person with EVD-compatible symptoms is defined as an individual presenting with fever (temperature ≥ 38.0 degrees Celsius) OR at least one of the following symptoms/signs:
  • subjective fever
  • malaise
  • myalgia
  • headache
  • arthralgia
  • fatigue
  • loss of appetite
  • conjunctival redness
  • sore throat
  • chest pain
  • abdominal pain
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhoea that can be bloody
  • haemorrhage
  • erythematous maculopapular rash on the trunk

Epidemiological Risk Factors:

  • Individual who cared for a case of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).
  • Laboratory worker handling Ebola virus or processing body fluids from a case of EVD.
  • Individual who spent time in a healthcare facility where cases of EVD are being treated in a country/region with widespread and intense Ebola virus transmission.
  • Sexual contact with an EVD case.
  • Close contact in households, healthcare facilities, or community settings with a person with Ebola while the person was symptomatic - close contact is defined as being for a prolonged period of time within approximately 2 meters (6 feet) of a person with Ebola.
  • Contact with any human remains of a case of EVD or contact with human remains in a country/region with widespread and intense Ebola virus transmission.
  • Contact with bats, primates or wild animal bush meat from affected countries/regions.
  • A travel history to a country/region with widespread and intense Ebola virus transmission within 21 days constitutes a low risk factor.

Person Under investigation (PUI)

A person with EVD-compatible symptoms (as defined above) AND EVD has not been ruled out.

  • A travel history to a country/region with widespread and intense EVD transmission within 21 days of symptom onset OR exposure to one of the epidemiological risk factors within 21 days of symptom onset.
  • With or without pending laboratory results for EVD.

Confirmed Case

A person with laboratory confirmation of EVD infection using at least one of the methods below:

  • Isolation and identification of virus from an appropriate clinical specimen (e.g., blood, serum, tissue, urine specimens or throat secretions) (performed at the National Microbiology Laboratory) OR
  • Detection of virus-specific RNA by reverse-transcriptase PCR from an appropriate clinical specimen (e.g., blood, serum, tissue) using two independent targets or two independent samples AND confirmed by the National Microbiology Laboratory by nucleic acid testing or serology OR
  • Demonstration of virus antigen in tissue (e.g., skin, liver or spleen) by immunohistochemical or immunofluorescent techniques AND another test (e.g., PCR) OR
  • Demonstration of specific IgM AND IgG antibody by EIA, immunofluorescent assay or Western Blot by the National Microbiology Laboratory or an approved WHO collaboration centre OR
  • Demonstration of a fourfold rise in IgG titre by EIA, immunofluorescent assay from an acute vs. a convalescent serum sample (performed at the National Microbiology Laboratory).