Sun, Aug 31, 2014 - Page 3 News List

CDC raises travel alert for DR Congo due to Ebola

Staff writer, with CNA

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) raised its health advisory against travel to the Democratic Republic of the Congo yesterday from “watch” to “alert,” citing the continued spread of the Ebola virus.

There were 24 Ebola cases confirmed in the central African country as of Aug. 18, 13 of which have been fatal, the CDC said.

Although the outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is not related to the epidemic in west Africa, namely in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria, the travel alert upgrade was necessary due to the uncertain conditions of the country’s healthcare, the CDC said.

The CDC raised its travel advisory on Aug. 1 for Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone from “alert” to “warning” — the highest level — amid the outbreak there.

It raised the advisory from “watch” to “alert” for Nigeria on Aug. 6.

As of Tuesday last week, the cumulative number of Ebola cases in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria stood at 3,069, with 1,552 deaths, the WHO said.

Under Taiwan’s travel advisory system, a level-1 watch advisory urges those who are bound for certain destinations to exercise vigilance and take health precautions, while a level-2 alert calls for travelers to maintain a high degree of caution and take stronger protective measures, especially when they visit certain high-risk places.

A level-3 warning advises against travel to given destinations altogether.

The most recent outbreak of Ebola, the worst on record according to the WHO, is occurring primarily in remote villages in central and western Africa, near tropical rainforests.

The virus can cause severe hemorrhagic fever and has a fatality rate of up to 90 percent, the WHO said.

No licensed treatment or vaccine is available for people or animals.

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