Travelers visiting West Africa destinations are advised to get informed about the Ebola epidemic, in detail concerning the specific area the traveler is visiting.
Experts have said to the moment, that the risk to travelers is very low, reminding though, that there is no vaccine or medication for prophylaxis, nor does any effective treatment exist, so travelers are oblidged to protect themselves adequately.
Ebola hemorrhagic fever is a very rare but deadly viral infection with no carrier state of the incubation period. Once the virus infects the body, it requires 2 to 21 days of the disease to onset symptoms, which happens accutely and severely, most often fatally. Usually it starts by a sudden high fever, muscle aches, diarrhea, headache, fatigue and abdominal pain. Symptoms also include skin rash, sore throat and conjunctivitis.
As soon as the fever appears, the patient becomes infectious
The virus is transmitted from person to person through the contact of blood of the patients, and of the tissues and body fluids of patients or deceased, who had contracted hemorrhagic fever Ebola.
Infection also may be transfered by contact or reuse of contaminated needles of the patients.
The virus can also be transmitted through the contact of live or dead infected animals (eg monkeys).
Although Ebola virus human-to-humnan transmission through air droplets has never been reported in health care facilities, the use of mask and eye protection of the healthcare personel is considered mandatory for any case of clinical examination or treatment of patient with vomiting or respiratory symptoms
Measures for Travelers
The traveler is recommended to be aware of the Ebola ways of transmission and take all personal protective measures.
Therefore, direct contact with body fluids of patients, and also with tools or objects that have been used by patients should definitely be avoided .
Furthermore Greek CDC( HCDCP) recommends travellers to West Africa destinations to avoid contact with animals.
If you experience symptoms during your trip or shortly after returning from an African country whith reported Ebola cases, you should seek immediate medical attention and primarily inform the doctor about the symptoms and the county you visited .
The screening for Ebola hemorrhagic fever in asymptomatic travelers returning from Africa destinations or immigrants is not appropriate.