Ebola Travel Advisory: Australians Should Avoid Travelling to Areas in West Africa

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By Athena Yenko | July 30, 2014 9:23 AM EST

The government is warning all Australian against travelling to West African areas affected by the deadly Ebola virus. The World Health Organization (WHO)  had identified this recent outbreak as the most seriously recorded outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).

REUTERS/Umaru Fofana
Health workers carry the body of an Ebola virus victim in Kenema, Sierra Leone, June 25, 2014. The Ebola outbreak has killed 467 people in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone since February, making it the largest and deadliest ever, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). West African states lack the resources to battle the world's worst outbreak of Ebola and deep cultural suspicions about the disease remain a big obstacle to halting its spread, ministers said on Wednesday. Picture taken June 25, 2014.

WHO had singled out the southern eastern Guinea. Ebola cases continue to pile up in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

From more than 1201 confirmed cases in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, 670 were already confirmed dead.

The Ministry of health in Nigeria had also reported five cases of EVD and death of a Liberian national who travelled across Lagos, Nigeria via Tomé, Togo. Residents are now being screened and disease isolation centres were already put up at international airports in different places in Nigeria.

For those Australians who cannot avoid traveling, the government suggests for them to keep an eye on the advice and precautions provided by local health authorities and the WHO.

Those Australians who were already in West Africa, they are strictly being advised to maintain strict standards of hygiene and avoid direct contact with patients with Ebola or unknown illnesses. They should avoid contact with wild animals and should not eat or touch raw or half-cooked meat products, especially blood of both the animals and raw meat.

Symptoms of EVD:

  • severe acute viral illness often characterized by the sudden onset of fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, headache and sore throat.
  • Vomiting, diarrhea, rash impaired kidney and liver function
  • Some cases show both internal and external bleeding
  • Low white blood cell and platelet counts and elevated liver enzymes

People can infect EVD as long as their blood and secretions contain the virus. A case of a man showed that the virus was still present in his semen eve after the semen sample of the man was isolated and observed in a laboratory.

People who are experiencing these symptoms shall seek help from healthcare provider especially those who had travelled to the affected areas. They are highly advised to inform their doctors that they have travelled to a place infected with Ebola.

Australians are also being forewarned that that borders in the region may be closed at short notice to contain the outbreak.

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(Photo: REUTERS/Umaru Fofana / )
Health workers carry the body of an Ebola virus victim in Kenema, Sierra Leone, June 25, 2014. The Ebola outbreak has killed 467 people in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone since February, making it the largest and deadliest ever, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). West African states lack the resources to battle the world's worst outbreak of Ebola and deep cultural suspicions about the disease remain a big obstacle to halting its spread, ministers said on Wednesday. Picture taken June 25, 2014.
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