The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization are investigating an outbreak of Ebola virus in West Africa. Ebola is a severe, often fatal disease, spread from person to person through direct contact with infected blood or secretions or exposure to contaminated objects, such as needles. The following CDC/WHO recommendations pertain to travel to and from the involved areas: Liberia, Guinea, Nigeria and Sierra Leone. Other international travel is not affected by this outbreak.
The CDC issues travel notices, with “watch levels,” to inform travelers about current health issues related to specific destinations. CDC has issued a “Level 1 Watch” for Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea, with a recommendation to avoid all non-essential travel to these destinations. CDC has issued a “Level 2 Watch” for Nigeria, recommending that travelers protect themselves by avoiding contact with the blood and body fluids of people who are ill with Ebola.
Persons returning from an affected area but have not had direct contact with the body fluids of symptomatic infected persons or animals, or objects that have been contaminated with body fluids, should monitor their health for 10 days. Those with a potential exposure should monitor their health for 21 days post exposure. Regardless, any traveler who becomes ill, even if only a fever, should consult a health-care provider immediately and tell him or her about recent travel and potential contacts.
Learn more about the Ebola outbreak at www.cdc.gov, or contact UAB Student Health and Wellness at 205-934-3580.