The Center for Disease Control and Prevention issued a travel warning to Americans regarding the deadly Ebola outbreak in Africa.
According to the advisory, Americans are asked to avoid all nonessential travel to Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.
The CDC’s advisory online says that the outbreak has been ongoing in the region since March 2014. So far, more than 1,320 cases have occurred and more than 725 people have died.
This outbreak of Ebola is the largest in history. Three Americans have been infected, two are health care workers at an Ebola clinic. As the outbreak worsens, CDC has said there have been cases of civil unrest and violence against aid workers.
Suspected and Confirmed Case Count: 249 Suspected Case Deaths: 129 Laboratory Confirmed Cases: 84 Affected districts in Liberia include Bomi, Bong, Grand Gedeh, Lofa, Montserrado (including the capital city of Monrovia), Margibi, and Nimba.
The Liberian government has instituted enhanced measures to combat the spread of the disease, many of which will likely make travel to, from, and within the country difficult.
The government has taken the following steps:
Closed all borders except for major entry points .Instituted prevention and screening measures at open entry points. Screening affects incoming and outgoing travelers. Instituted restrictions on public and other mass gatherings.Instituted quarantine measures for communities heavily affected by Ebola, including restricted travel in and out.Authorized military personnel are aiding in enforcing these and other prevention and control measures.
· Suspected and Confirmed Case Count: 427
· Suspected Case Deaths: 319
· Laboratory Confirmed Cases: 311
According to CDC, affected areas in Guinea include Boffa, Conakry, Dabola, Dinguiraye, Guékédou, Kissidougou, Kouroussa, Macenta, Siguiri, and Télimélé prefectures
In Sierra Leone
· Suspected and Confirmed Case Count: 525
· Suspected Case Deaths: 224
· Laboratory Confirmed Cases: 419
The CDC says that affected districts in Sierra Leone include Bo, Bombali, Bonthe, Kailahun, Kambia, Kenema, Kono, Moyamba, Port Loko, Tonkolili, and Western Area, including the capital of Freetown.
Sierra Leone’s government has recently instituted enhanced measures to combat the spread of the disease including:
Instituted new protocols for arriving and departing passengers at Lungi International Airport. Instituted restrictions on public and other mass gatherings.Instituted quarantine measures for communities affected by Ebola; travel in and out of those communities will be restricted until a medical team clearsthem. Authorizedd house-to-house searches to locate and quarantine Ebola patients and requires all deaths be reported beforeburial. Authorizedd police and military personnel to aid in enforcing these and other prevention and controlmeasures. Requiress local government officials to establish by-laws to support Ebola prevention efforts.
What is Ebola?
Ebola virus disease (also known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever) is a rare and deadly disease native to a number of African countries. It is caused by infection with one of the ebolaviruses.
The disease is spread by direct contact with an infected person’s blood or bodily fluids. It is not airborne. Contact with contaminated objects or infected animals can also spread the disease.
According to CDC: symptoms include fever, headache, joint and muscle aches, sore throat, and weakness, followed by diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pain. Skin rash, red eyes, and internal and external bleeding may be seen in some patients.
Who is at risk?
Travelers could be infected if they come into contact with blood or body fluids from someone who is sick or has died from Ebola, sick wildlife, or meat from an infected animal.
Health care providers, and service workers, caring for Ebola patients and family and friends in close contact with an ill person are at highest risk of infection.