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Travel health information for people travelling abroad from the UK

Imported Ebola Virus Disease in United States (NYC)

24 Oct 2014

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have reported a case of Ebola virus disease in New York City (23 October 2014).

The case, a male medical aid worker for charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) returned from Guinea on 17 October 2014 and participated in an enhanced screening programme for travellers returning from countries affected by Ebola virus disease. The CDC advised that the patient first developed symptoms on 23 October 2014; he was promptly transported to an isolation unit in Bellevue Hospital which is a designated Ebola treatment hospital and is well prepared for treating Ebola patients.

The CDC, New York City Health Department and Bellevue Hospital are working together to ensure all necessary precautions are taken to prevent onward transmission of Ebola virus disease.

Advice for Travellers

The risk of travellers becoming infected or developing Ebola haemorrhagic fever is extremely low, unless there has been direct contact with blood or bodily fluids of dead or living infected persons or animals. Healthcare workers are at particular risk, although practising appropriate infection control should effectively prevent transmission of disease in this setting.

Travellers returning from tropical countries should always seek rapid medical attention if they develop flu-like symptoms (such as fever, headache, diarrhoea or general malaise) within three weeks after return, and be reminded to mention to their health care provider that they have recently travelled.

Further information on Viral Haemorrhagic Fevers.