Article by
Dani Reiter

Ebola Outbreak Travel Warning Updated by CDC

Travel Alert Level 2 for Ebola Zaire outbreak in the DRC updated by CDC

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The existing Level 2 Travel Alert regarding the Ebola Zaire outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has been expanded by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

This July 31, 2019, CDC Travel Alert says ‘travelers to this area could be infected with Ebola if they come into contact with an infected person’s blood or other body fluids. It is also spread by contact with contaminated objects or infected animals.’

‘And, family and friends caring for people with Ebola and healthcare workers who do not use correct infection control precautions, are at high-risk.’

There is no US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved preventive vaccine or specific treatment for the Ebola virus disease (also known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever), and many people who get the disease die.’

‘An experimental vaccine from Merck called v920 (rVSV-ZEBOV) was found to be highly protective against the virus in a trial conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2015. FDA licensure for the v920 vaccine is expected in 2019.’

‘Travelers should seek medical care immediately if they develop fever, headache, body aches, sore throat, diarrhea, weakness, vomiting, stomach pain, rash, or red eyes during or after travel.’

‘For travelers to the Ebola outbreak area, separate yourself from others and seek medical care immediately if you have been in an area where Ebola is spreading and develop fever or other symptoms of Ebola for 21-days.’

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‘And, before you go to a doctor’s office, urgent care center, or emergency room, call ahead and tell the doctor about your recent travel and your symptoms. Advance notice will help the doctor care for you and protect other people who may be in the office or hospital.’

‘If you need help getting health care overseas, contact the nearest US embassy, says the CDC.’

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Additionally, the CDC has provided recommendations to ensure workers with potential occupational exposure to Ebola are healthy when they return to the United States.

Furthermore, the US State Department updated its Level 3 Travel Advisory on April 9, 2019, saying to Americans 'Do not travel to the eastern DRC and the Kasai provinces.'  

For the latest information on this outbreak, including updates on numbers of cases and deaths, see the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Ebola situation reports: the Democratic Republic of the Congo.