By NewsDesk @bactiman63
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued travel notices for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Guinea due to ongoing Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreaks.
The outbreak, the 12th ever in the DRC is in the North Kivu (Kivu Nord) province in the eastern part of the country–the same location as the 10th outbreak in DRC that began in August 2018 and was declared over in June 2020.
To date, eight confirmed cases, including four deaths have been recorded in the outbreak declared on February 7.
In Guinea, there is an outbreak of Ebola in the rural community of Gouéké, N’Zérékoré Prefecture of Guinea. This was declared on Feb. 14.
To date, nine total cases (5 confirmed and 4 probable), including 5 deaths have been reported.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is working with local health authorities to identify sources of transmission, conduct case investigation and case finding, strengthen local laboratory capacity, and to provide Ebola vaccine.
The CDC advise travelers to these areas, while the risk is low, could be infected with Ebola if they come in contact with an infected person’s blood or other body fluids.
What steps can travelers take to protect themselves and others from Ebola?
Avoid touching, handling, or contact with
- Other people’s blood or body fluids. (See the section below for special precautions if your work puts you at risk for exposure to Ebola.)
- Items that may have come in contact with a person’s blood or body fluids (such as clothes, bedding, needles, or medical equipment).
- Bats and nonhuman primates or the blood, fluids, and raw meat of these animals (bushmeat) or meat from an unknown source.
- Avoid participating in funeral or burial rituals that require handling human remains.
- Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer, and avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- If your job requires possible exposure to Ebola, get vaccinated.
- On January 8, 2021, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommended pre-exposure prophylaxis vaccination with rVSVΔG-ZEBOV-GP (Ervebo™) for adults ≥ 18 years of age in the U.S. population at highest risk for potential occupational exposure to Ebola virus species Zaire ebolavirus. These include personnel responding to (or planning to respond to) Ebola outbreaks.
- A single dose of rVSVΔG-ZEBOV-GP is safe and protects against Zaire ebolavirus, which has caused the largest and most deadly Ebola outbreaks to date.
- For prescribing information and detailed instructions on how to order rVSVΔG-ZEBOV-GP vaccine from the CDC, see Ebola Vaccine: Information for U.S. Healthcare Providers.
- Consider travel health and medical evacuation insurance coverage.
- If you are traveling for work, have information about your employer’s plan for medical care or evacuation during your trip.
- Register with the US Department of State. If you are a US citizen, enroll online in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security updates and information about getting help in the event of an emergency.
- For travelers to the outbreak area, pay attention to your health during travel and for 21 days after you leave the outbreak area.
Travelers should seek medical care immediately if they develop fever, muscle pain, sore throat, diarrhea, weakness, vomiting, stomach pain, or unexplained bleeding or bruising during or after travel.
On Friday, the CDC said in a statement air travel has the potential to transport people, some of whom may have been exposed to a communicable disease, anywhere across the globe in less than 24 hours. Therefore, out of an abundance of caution, the U.S. government will institute public health measures for the very small number of travelers arriving from the DRC and Guinea.
Beginning next week, the U.S. government will funnel travelers from DRC and Guinea to six U.S. airports. Airlines will collect and transmit passenger information to CDC for public health follow-up and intervention for all passengers boarding a flight to the U.S. who were in DRC or Guinea within the previous 21 days. This information will be shared with U.S. state and local health departments to appropriately monitor arrivals in their jurisdiction.