Ebola haemorrhagic fever in Guinea
25 Mar 2014
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has reported an outbreak of Ebola haemorrhagic fever in Guinea. To date 80 cases have been reported, including 59 deaths. No similar outbreaks have previously been reported in Guinea.
The incubation period for Ebola haemorrhagic fever can be up to three weeks; it is therefore likely that further cases will be identified over the coming weeks in Guinea, and potentially in bordering districts in the region. Control measures, such as isolation of cases and active monitoring of contacts are currently being implemented in effort to control this outbreak and prevent further spread of the disease.
The ECDC has advised that EU citizens in Guinea are at low risk of becoming infected with Ebola haemorrhagic fever, unless they have direct contact with body fluids of dead or living infected persons or animals. However, the risk related to seeking medical care in Guinea is dependent on the infection control measures (such as sterility of medical equipment) that are in place.
Furthermore, the ECDC has advised that 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 of their return, they should also advise their health care provider of their travel history.
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.