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Ebola Outbreak in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone

Updated: July 30, 2014

Travel Health Notice

Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone continue to report cases of Ebola virus disease (formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever) and related deaths. Additional cases can be expected.

The Ministry of Health in Nigeria has reported its first death due to Ebola in a traveller that had returned ill from Liberia.

For the latest updates on Ebola virus disease, including the total number of cases and deaths, please visit the World Health Organization’s Global Alert and Response websiteExternal link.

The Ministries of Health of Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone are working with the World Health Organization (WHO) and other partners to implement measures to control the outbreak and prevent further spread. The WHO does not recommend that any travel or trade restrictions be applied to Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria or Sierra Leone in relation to this outbreak.

For more information on safety, security and border measures for these affected countries, visit Country Travel Advice and AdvisoriesExternal link.

Ebola virus disease is a rare and severe viral disease. The virus can infect both humans and non-human primates (monkeys, gorillas, etc.). When infected, people can get very sick, with fever, intense weakness, headache, sore throat and pains, and may bleed from different parts of the body (i.e., haemorrhage).

The risk of infection is low for most travellers, although the risk may increase for those who are working in a health care setting since in affected areas most human infections result from direct contact with the bodily fluids of infected patients. The Public Health Agency of Canada recommends travellers avoid all direct contact with a person or corpse infected with the Ebola virus. Also, avoid contact with or handling an animal suspected of having Ebola. Travellers from affected areas should immediately seek medical attention at the first sign of illness.

Recommendations

Consult a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic at least six weeks before you travel.

  1. Avoid direct contact with blood and other bodily fluids of people with Ebola virus disease or unknown illnesses.
    • Avoid direct contact with bodies of people who died of Ebola virus disease or unknown illnesses.
    • Avoid contact with any objects, such as needles, that have been contaminated with blood or bodily fluids.
    • Avoid unprotected sexual activity with an infected person or a person recovering from Ebola virus disease.
  2. Health care workers are at higher risk and should adhere to strict infection prevention and control measures.
    • Health care workers should practise strict infection control measuresExternal link including the use of personal protective equipment (i.e., gowns, masks, goggles and gloves) when providing care for suspect or confirmed cases.
    • In addition to routine practices for all patients, precautions for contact, droplet and aerosol generating procedures are recommended.
    • Patients with Ebola should be isolated.
  3. Avoid close contact with or handling of animals.
    • Avoid live or dead animals, as both can spread the virus. Animals such as chimpanzees, gorillas, monkeys, forest antelope, pigs, porcupines, duikers and fruit bats may be carriers.
    • Avoid handling of raw or undercooked meat.
  4. Know the symptoms of Ebola virus disease and see a health care provider if they develop during travel.
  5. Monitor your health upon your return or entry into Canada from a region affected by the Ebola outbreak.
    • If you have symptoms upon arrival into Canada, tell a flight attendant or a border services officer when you arrive. They will determine whether you need further medical assessment.
    • Seek medical attention immediately, if a fever and/or any other symptoms arise within three weeks after your return to Canada.
    • Be sure to tell your health care provider that you have travelled to a region where Ebola virus disease was present and tell them about the activities or work you participated in.