The public is notified that there is an EBOLA/VHF (Viral Hemorrhagic fever) epidemic in West African Nations including Guinea-Conakry, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and recently Nigeria. There is a possibility that the number of countries affected will increase over time.
Ebola is highly contagious and virulent disease with severe fatality that can be transmitted via human contacts.
The Ebola virus disease presents with the following symptoms: Fever of acute onset (>37.50C) with unexplained bleeding tendencies from nose (Epitasis), gums, vagina, skin or eyes, bloody stools, vomiting and coughing blood, diarrhea, deterioration of vision or decreased consciousness.
Ebola virus disease (formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever) is a severe, often fatal illness, with a case fatality rate of up to 90%. It is one of the world’s most virulent diseases. The infection is transmitted by direct contact with the blood, body fluids and tissues of infected animals or people. Severely ill patients require intensive supportive care.
WHO Summary of epidemiological facts and experience
- The incubation period of Ebola virus disease (EVD) varies from 2 to 21 days. Person-to-person transmission by means of direct contact with infected persons or their body fluids/secretions is considered the principal mode of transmission. In a household study, secondary transmission took place only if direct physical contact occurred. No transmission was reported without this direct contact. Airborne transmission has not been documented during previous EVD outbreaks.
- There is no risk of transmission during the incubation period and only low risk of transmission in the early phase of symptomatic patients. The risk of infection during transport of persons can be further reduced through use of infection control precautions.
- In the current outbreak, infected travelers have crossed land borders with neighbouring countries and there is a possibility that other cases might occur in neighbouring countries.
- Historically, several cases of haemorrhagic fever (Ebola, Marburg, Lassa, Crimean Congo haemorrhagic fever) disease were diagnosed after long distance travel but none developed the symptoms during the international travel. Long-distance travellers (e.g. between continents) infected in affected areas could arrive while incubating the disease and develop symptoms compatible with EVD, after arrival.
WHO Template Message for travelers and EVD
- Ebola Virus Disease is rare.
- Infection is by contact with blood or body fluids of an infected person or an animal infected or by contact with contaminated objects.
- Symptoms include fever, weakness, muscle pain, headache and sore throat. This is followed by vomiting, diarrhoea, rash, and in some cases, bleeding.
- Cases of Ebola have recently been confirmed in XXX and YYY.
- Persons who come into direct contact with body fluids of an infected person or animal are at risk.
- There is no licenced vaccine.
- Practice careful hygiene.
- Avoid all contact with blood and body fluids of infected people or animals.
- Do not handle items that may have come in contact with an infected person’s blood or body fluids.
- If you stayed in the areas where Ebola cases have been recently reported seek medical attention if you feel sick (fever, headache, achiness, sore throat, diarrhoea, vomiting, stomach pain, rash, or red eyes).
More at: http://who.int/csr/disease/ebola/en/