CDC Issues Level 3 Travel Warning in West Africa
Measures Taken in Response to Ebola Outbreak in Region
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a Level 3 travel warning advising Americans to avoid nonessential travel to West Africa, including Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia. The warning was in response to the worsening of an Ebola epidemic that broke out in the region earlier this year.
In addition to the travel warning, the CDC is also assisting in efforts to screen sick travelers in West Africa and prevent them from leaving the area. In the event that a passenger suffering from the virus does get onto a plane, the CDC will investigate and, if necessary, quarantine him or her upon arrival in the United States.
The agency is also providing guidelines to airlines serving the region on how to manage sick passengers, as well as information on how to disinfect aircraft.
At this time, however, no measures have been put in place to routinely screen travelers arriving at points of entry from the affected countries. This is largely due to the fact that Ebola is not contagious until symptoms appear, and transmission of the virus occurs only through contact with bodily fluids.
To date, the Ebola epidemic has caused an estimated 729 fatalities in West Africa. Over the next five years, the United States will be working with 30 partner countries to improve prevention and management of the virus, and plans to budget $45 million in 2015 towards these efforts.
(Photo: Accura Media Group)