Public Health Emergency : Ebola Outbreak West Africa

by Wayne Ghesquiere on August 8, 2014

ebola

The World Health Organization  has declared the Ebola outbreak in West Africa an international public health emergency.  The current outbreak began in Guinea in March and has spread to Sierra Leone, and Liberia. There have been probable and suspected cases reported in Lagos, Nigeria related to the outbreak in neighboring countries. This is the largest and longest outbreak in history, an expert committee will assess the severity of the situation in West Africa this week.

The Public Health Agency of Canada recommends that Canadians avoid all non-essential travel to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone for their protection. Health officials are dedicating their resources towards controlling the outbreak. It may be difficult to access health care services in affected areas due to increasingly burdened health care system.

Most human infections occur from direct contact with bodily fluids of an infected person.  The risk of infection is low for most travellers, however the risk may be increased for health care workers or for travelers requiring medical care in affected areas .

Travellers are recommended to seek travel health advise when travelling abroad a minimum of 4- 6 weeks before departure.

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