Ebola in West Africa: year end summary

Since the outbreak of Ebola began earlier this year in Guinea, there have been approximately 19,500 reported cases with at least 7,500 deaths in 4 affected countries (Guinea, Liberia, Mali and Sierra Leone). Four additional countries had cases (Nigeria, Senegal, Spain and the United States of America), but there were few, if any, major chains of transmission from these cases. Still, in the most affected countries, there are approximately 100 cases and 100 deaths reported each day.

In Guinea, reports of new cases are fluctuating (decreasing in some areas, increasing in others), while in Liberia, case reports appear to be decreasing steadily. In Sierra Leone, there may be some signs that the disease is slowing, but “hot spots” where transmission is high still occur.

The risk for the general traveller is low provided travellers avoid all contact with ill persons and refrain from engaging in customary funeral practices involving bodily contact with the deceased person. Nevertheless, some countries advise against travelling to the 3 most affected countries, especially if pre-existing medical conditions might require medical care.

Visit our Health Library for more information on exposure to and the prevention of Ebola Viral Disease.

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