Infection occurs from direct contact through broken skin or mucous membranes with the blood, or other bodily fluids or secretions (stool, urine, saliva, semen) of infected people. Infection can also occur if broken skin or mucous membranes of a healthy person come into contact with environments that have become contaminated with an Ebola patient’s infectious fluids such as soiled clothing, bed linen, or used needles.
People handling Ebola patients and those handling the dead bodies of Ebola victims are likely to contract the virus. Additional transmission can occur in communities during funerals and burial rituals. The body of an Ebola victim is seven times more infectious than the someone who an infected person who is alive. People who have died of Ebola must be handled using strong protective clothing and gloves, and must be buried immediately.