Travel Clinic London, Travel Alert, Ebola Outbreak, West Africa, 8 April 2014
The Ebola outbreak which started in Guinea is continuing to spread and develop across West Africa. Since the outbreak was first confirmed by the World Health Organisation at the end of March, 83 people have died and 127 confirmed cases (as of 8 April 2014). Ebola is highly contagious and has a 90% mortality rate.
Outbreak Continuing to Spread
The Ebola virus which stated in Guinea quickly spread to neighbouring Liberia and Sierra Leone towards the end of March. Suspected cased have now been recorded in Mali and Ghana. Senegal has shut its border with Guinea as a precaution.
Origin of the Outbreak
The outbreak began in the south-eastern region of Guinea and spread to the capital city Conakry. It is believed that the outbreak started by being passed to humans from fruit bats, which are eaten in some parts of this country.
There have been reports of panic in Conakry and locals attacking a Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) medical clinic believing that the medical charity introduced the disease to the area. For the time being, all staff from the treatment clinic have now been evacuated until measures can be put in place to ensure their safety.
How Ebola is Spread
Ebola is a very serious viral disease which is spread amongst humans via direct body contact with people or animals infected with the disease including bodily fluids and other objects that have come into contact with the disease such as needles.
Ebola Signs and Symptoms
The first signs and symptoms include flu like symptoms such as headache, fever, muscle and joint aches. The fever progresses to sickness, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea which can cause shock, multiple organ failure and death. It has a 90% mortality rate.
No Vaccination or Medication
There is currently no vaccination or effective drugs available to treat Ebola. Travellers to this region should be extremely cautious, keep up-to-date with news reports regarding travel advice and avoid all contact with animals and people infected with the disease.
Further Travel Health Advice
Should you be travelling to the region, please get in contact with any of our Travel Clinics in London.