Ebola Update: Can I safely travel to Africa?
The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has predominantly affected Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. There has however been a level of anxiety for travellers looking to visit Africa; and misperceptions about Africa’s geography and risks are adding to concerns.
Safari365 operates in two main geographic zones, Southern and East Africa.
Can I safely travel to East Africa ? (Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda)
To date, there have been no reported cases of Ebola in East Africa and no international government travel warnings against travelling to East Africa. Inward and outward international flights from non-effected countries remain unchanged.
Kenya: Entry of passengers travelling from or through Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, is suspended, with the exception of health professionals supporting efforts to contain the outbreak and Kenyan citizens.
Tanzania: The government has intensified surveillance at all entry points to prevent the spread of the Ebola virus in the country. Walk-through thermal scanners have been installed at the country's five international airports to check the spread of the Ebola disease.
Rwanda: Authorities have banned entry of all travellers who have been travelling in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone in the previous 22 days. Health screening is in place at all border posts. Any non-residents with a fever of 37.5 degrees or above will not be allowed to enter Rwanda.
Uganda: Health screening is in place at Entebbe International Airport for all travellers from affected West African countries and from the Democratic Republic of Congo. An isolation centre has been established at the airport for any suspected EVD cases.
Can I safely travel to Southern Africa ? (South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe)
To date, there have been no reported cases of Ebola in Southern Africa and no international government travel warnings against travelling to Southern Africa. Inward and outward international flights from non-effected countries remain unchanged.
South Africa: Foreign citizens arriving from EVD affected countries in West Africa will not be allowed to enter South Africa. South African citizens will be allowed to re-enter, but will be subject to screening.
Botswana: Authorities have banned entry of all travellers who have been in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria or Sierra Leone in the previous 30 days.
Namibia: Authorities have suspended the entry of passengers travelling from EVD affected countries, with the exception of Namibian citizens.
Zambia: The entry of travellers from affected West African countries is banned.
Zimbabwe: Passengers from Ebola affected countries are being identified and interviewed at airports and land borders. Travellers from West Africa are reportedly subject to a 21 day health surveillance
Centres for Disease Control and Prevention International Update
On October 29, WHO released a situation report that included an increase of 3792 cases since the report released on October 22, 2014. WHO reports that the increase in total cases results from a more comprehensive assessment of patient databases. The additional 3792 cases have occurred throughout the epidemic period.
On October 23, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene reported a case of Ebola in a medical aid worker who had returned to New York City from Guinea, where the medical aid worker had served with Doctors Without Borders. The diagnosis was confirmed by CDC on October 24.
On October 23, Mali reported its first confirmed case of Ebola in a child who had traveled there from Guinea. The child passed away on October 24.
WHO officially declared Senegal and Nigeria free of Ebola virus transmission on October 17 and 20, respectively.
On October 15, a second healthcare worker at Texas Presbyterian Hospital who provided care for the index patient tested positive for Ebola. The patient is receiving care at a hospital in Atlanta, Georgia.
On October 10, a healthcare worker at Texas Presbyterian Hospital who provided care for the index patient tested positive for Ebola. The patient has since recovered and was discharged from the NIH Clinical Center on October 24.
CDC is implementing enhanced entry screening at five U.S. airports that receive over 94% of travelers from Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.
How does the Ebola Infection Spread?
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), “Ebola outbreaks occur primarily in remote villages in Central and West Africa, near tropical rainforests. The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and spread in the human population through human-to-human transmission, with infection resulting from direct contact with infected people.”
Ebola is not an airborne disease, it is not spread via air or breathing. Ebola is contracted through blood, feces, or bodily fluids, so it's difficult to come in direct contact unless you're a doctor, nurse, or caring for a sick person.