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Travel health information for people travelling abroad from the UK

Ebola Virus Disese in West Africa (Update)

20 Nov 2014

Ebola virus disease (EVD) transmission is persistent in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, however, the incidence of reported new cases is not increasing in the country as a whole in Guinea and Liberia. The incidence of reported cases continues to increase in Sierra Leone. In Guinea and Liberia the outbreak is intense in key districts, in Sierra Leone however, transmission is intense throughtout the north and west of the country.

In Guinea, the highest number on new cases have been identified in N’Zerekore. Liberia is reporting the highest number of news cases in Montserrado. The capital of Sierra Leone, Freetown and Port Loko, are reporting the highest number of new cases.

Lofa in Liberia, and Kenema and Kailahun in Sierra Leone have now reported no or a very low number of new cases for several weeks.

As of 19 November 2014, a total of 15 145 cases and 5420 deaths have been reported to WHO. The distribution of the cases in West Africa is listed below, case numbers include confirmed, probable and suspected:

  • Guinea - 1972 cases and 1192 deaths.
  • Liberia - 7069 cases and 2964 deaths.
  • Sierra Leone - 6073 cases and 1250 deaths.
  • Mali - 6 cases and 5 deaths.

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.