Travel Advisory Issued Against Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone

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By Athena Yenko | August 4, 2014 6:42 PM EST

The Australian government advised against travelling to Guinea and reconsidering the need to travel to Liberia and Sierra Leone.

REUTERS/Tommy Trenchard
Health workers take blood samples for Ebola virus testing at a screening tent in the local government hospital in Kenema, Sierra Leone, June 30, 2014.

Do not travel Guinea and reconsider the need to travel to Liberia and Sierra Leone due to a serious outbreak of Ebola virus that had already claimed the lives of 670 people in total, the Australian Government advised.

The government is recommending for everyone to monitor information from local health authorities and sternly warning against travelling to affected areas.

"As a precautionary measure Australian High Commission personnel have deferred non-essential travel to Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia as a result of the Ebola outbreak. We recommend you do the same," the government said.

According to the latest data from WHO, dated July 31, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone had an overall 122 new cases (laboratory-confirmed, probable, and suspect cases) of EVD and 57 deaths due to Ebola.

In particular, Guinea has 33 new cases and 20 deaths; Liberia has 80 new cases and 27 deaths; Nigeria has 1 case and 1 death; Sierra Leone has 8 new cases and 9 deaths.

The July 31 figure does not include data dated July 27 where the cumulative number of cases attributed to EVD in the four countries stands at 1 323 including 729 deaths: Guinea, 460 cases (336 confirmed, 109 probable, and 15 suspected) including 339 deaths; Liberia, 329 cases (100 confirmed, 128 probable, and 101 suspected) including 156 deaths; Nigeria, 1 case (1 probable who died); and Sierra Leone, 533 cases (473 confirmed, 38 probable, and 22 suspected) including 233 deaths.

Aside from the deadly Ebola virus, Australians are also being warned of unstable security due to violent crimes in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

A high risk of violence exists in Guinea, particularly in the Conakry area where theft at gunpoint is a common occurrence. There had also been regular reports of armed robbery and violent assault done by individuals allegedly wearing military-style uniforms.

Australia does not have an embassy or consulate in Guinea. Only the Canadian Embassy located in Dakar, Senegal, provide consular assistance to Australians in Guinea that includes  Provisional Travel Documents.

Liberia, on the other hand, had just recovered from a devastating civil war that ended in August 2003. The areas bordering Côte d'Ivoire still has the presence of armed groups and cross-border attacks can still happen anytime.

Australia does not have an embassy or consulate in Liberia and Sierra Leone and only the Australian High Commission in Accra, Ghana can provide consular assistance to Australians in Liberia.

"We strongly advise against all travel to the areas bordering Cote d'Ivoire, Liberia and Sierra Leone where cross-border armed activity and tensions between ethnic groups undermines the general security situation," the government warns.

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(Photo: REUTERS/Tommy Trenchard / )
Health workers take blood samples for Ebola virus testing at a screening tent in the local government hospital in Kenema, Sierra Leone, June 30, 2014.
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