CDC Issues Travel Alert for Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia

Posted on 8/5/2014 1:49:20 PM

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urges U.S. residents to avoid nonessential travel to Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia because of an unprecedented outbreak of Ebola.

The World Health Organization (WHO) continues to monitor Nigeria, which has reported three cases of Ebola at this time. No travel alert has been issued for Nigeria.

Ebola virus disease (also known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever) is a rare and deadly disease. The disease is native to several African countries and is caused by infection with one of the Ebola viruses. It is spread by direct contact with a sick person’s blood or body fluids. It is also spread by contact with contaminated objects or infected animals, including raw meat.

Symptoms include fever, headache, joint and muscle aches, sore throat, and weakness, followed by diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pain. Skin rash, red eyes, and internal and external bleeding may be seen in some patients.

Since this virus requires contact with blood or bodily fluid, transmission is rare. The disease is transmitted when symptoms are present. Therefore it is important to seek health care immediately if you develop symptoms after traveling to these areas or believe you may have been exposed to the Ebola virus.

If you have recently traveled in this area, pay attention to your health after you return.

  • Monitor your health for 10 days if you were in an area with an Ebola outbreak but were not in contact with blood or body fluids, items that have come in contact with blood or body fluids, animals or raw meat, or hospitals where Ebola patients are being treated.
  • Monitor your health for 21 days regardless of possible exposure to Ebola.
  • Seek medical care immediately if you develop fever, headache, achiness, sore throat, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, rash, or red eyes. 
    • Tell the doctor about your recent travel and your symptoms before you go to the office or emergency room. Advance notice will help the doctor care for you and protect other people who may be in the office.

    IUP’s Center for Health and Well-Being continues to monitor this outbreak and will provide information as it becomes available.  For more information, visit the CDC or contact the Health Service at the IUP Center for Health and Well-Being at 724-357-2550.