In response to inquiries about the ability of Ebola to be spread in drinking water supplies, the National Rural Water Association is distributing the following resources and information that conclude that Ebola cannot spread through the drinking water supply.
- Ebola is not a foodborne, waterborne, or airborne illness (WHO).
- Ebola spreads in human populations through human-to-human transmission, through direct contact with infected bodily fluids including blood, vomit, or feces (WHO).
- Ebola can’t survive in drinking water because Ebola infected cells don’t live long inside a liquid that doesn’t have the same salt concentration as bodily fluids (NPR).
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are in the process of finalizing a guidance document on Ebola for sanitation and WWTP operators titled “Interim Guidance for Workers Handling Untreated Sewage from Ebola Cases in the United States” which will address basic hygiene practices and personal protective equipment (PPE) use and disposal actions that should be taken. It is expected to be released before the end of the month, and will be included here when it’s available.
World Health Organization (WHO) Website
World Health Organization (WHO) Fact Sheet
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Website
National Public Radio (NPR) Analysis