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Ebola Virus Disease in United States

02 Oct 2014

The first imported case of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in the United States (US) has been reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The announcement was made on 30 September 2014, following laboratory confirmation of the infection in an individual who had travelled to Dallas, Texas after arriving in the US from West Africa. The individual was asymptomatic during travel but developed symptoms of EVD around 5 days after arrival and is now being cared for in isolation.

Those who had contact with the case once symptoms became apparent are being monitored by Public Health officials for 21 days following exposure.

(Via Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - accessed 02/10/14)

Advice for Travellers

The risk of travellers becoming infected or developing Ebola haemorrhagic fever is extremely low, unless there has been direct contact with blood or bodily fluids of dead or living infected persons or animals. Healthcare workers are at particular risk, although practising appropriate infection control should effectively prevent transmission of disease in this setting.

Travellers returning from tropical countries should always seek rapid medical attention if they develop flu-like symptoms (such as fever, headache, diarrhoea or general malaise) within three weeks after return, and be reminded to mention to their health care provider that they have recently travelled.

Further information on Viral Haemorrhagic Fevers.