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Travel health information for people travelling abroad from the UK

Ebola Virus Disease in West Africa (Update)

19 May 2015

A total of 9 new confirmed cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD) were reported during the week to 10 May 2015. Guinea reported 7 cases, Sierra Leone reported 2. As of 12 May, Sierra Leone has reported 8 consecutive days without a confirmed case.

  • Guinea - of the 7 new cases, 6 were reported from the prefecture of Forecariah, which has been the focus of transmission for several weeks. Of those 6 cases, 4 were reported from the central sub-prefecture of Moussayah, which borders the Sierra Leonean district of Kambia. Kaliah and Sikhourou, the sub-prefectures to the west and north-east of Moussayah, respectively, each reported 1 confirmed case. The remaining case in Guinea was reported from Dubreka prefecture.
  • Sierra Leone - both cases occurred in the capital, Freetown. The cases are mother and 10-year old daughter, both  are known contacts of a previous case and were under quarantine when they became symptomatic. Following treatment, the mother tested negative for EVD for a second time. The daughter remains EVD-positive and continues with treatment.

As of 13 May 2015, more than 26 724 confirmed, probable and suspected cases of EVD and more than 11 065 deaths have been reported to WHO by the Ministries of Health for Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. The distribution of the cases in West Africa is listed below, case numbers include confirmed, probable and suspected:

  • Guinea - 3597 cases and 2392 deaths, cases in last 21 days 38.
  • Sierra Leone - 12 523 cases and 3904 deaths, cases in last 21 days 22.

(Via WHO Ebola Situation Report 13/05/15 - accessed 19/05/15)

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.