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Information about Ebola for Travelers
No travel notices are currently in effect for Ebola. Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone no longer have widespread transmission of Ebola; however, the virus can remain in certain body fluids of people who have recovered from Ebola. These body fluids include semen, fluids in the eyes, and fluids found in the brain and spine. Therefore, small numbers of cases may continue to occur. Although there is believed to be no risk of Ebola to most travelers, they should, as usual, avoid contact with sick people, dead bodies, or blood and body fluids. They should also avoid contact with animals (such as bats or monkeys) or with raw or undercooked meat and should not eat or handle bushmeat (wild animals hunted for food).
Travelers, particularly those who could be exposed to Ebola because of the work they are doing (see below), should enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive important information from the embassy about health and safety conditions and to allow the embassy to contact them in case of emergency.
Travelers are also encouraged to watch their health for 21 days (self-observation) after leaving Guinea, Liberia, or Sierra Leone and to seek health care if symptoms consistent with Ebola develop.
Information for Health Care Workers, Laboratory Workers, and Researchers Traveling to the United States from Guinea, Liberia, or Sierra Leone
CDC recommends public health monitoring for certain groups of travelers who may be exposed to Ebola during their work in Guinea, Liberia, or Sierra Leone:
- Direct active monitoring (twice daily reporting of measured temperatures and symptoms of Ebola, with direct observation during at least one of those encounters) until 21 days after the last potential exposure for health care workers who cared for patients with Ebola while the patients were infectious.
- Active monitoring (daily reporting of measured temperatures and symptoms of Ebola) until 21 days after the last potential exposure for:
- Anyone who entered the patient care area (“hot zone”) of an Ebola treatment unit or other health care facility where patients with Ebola were treated.
- Laboratory workers who handled specimens from patients with Ebola before the specimens were inactivated.
CDC requests notification by the employing organization or public health authority before any people with these exposures travel to the United States. Notifications may be made to the CDC office in the country where the traveler is located via the US embassy in country or by contacting the CDC Emergency Operations Center at 770-488-7100 or firstname.lastname@example.org. CDC will notify the health department of the destination state.
CDC also recommends that researchers who are conducting studies of Ebola or testing survivors should monitor their health under the oversight of the employing organization until 21 days after the last potential exposure and report any signs or symptoms.
The above recommendations assume that appropriate infection control precautions and personal protective equipment (PPE) were used. Anyone with a potential unprotected exposure to Ebola, such as a breach of PPE, should not travel by commercial or public transport and may be subject to travel restrictions for 21 days after the exposure.
- Page created: July 31, 2014
- Page last updated: February 19, 2016
- Page last reviewed: February 19, 2016
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