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Ebola in Sierra Leone

Warning - Level 3, Avoid Nonessential Travel
Alert - Level 2, Practice Enhanced Precautions
Watch - Level 1, Practice Usual Precautions

What is the current situation?

For more than a year, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea have been experiencing the largest outbreak of Ebola in history. On November 7, 2015, the World Health Organization declared the end of the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone. The health system in Sierra Leone continues to monitor for new cases and to take precautions to prevent transmission in the country. CDC is also closely monitoring the situation and will update information and advice for travelers as needed.

CDC no longer recommends that US residents practice enhanced precautions when traveling to Sierra Leone. Although there is believed to be no risk of Ebola to travelers, travelers should, as usual, avoid contact with sick people, dead bodies, or blood and body fluids. The health infrastructure in Sierra Leone has been severely strained by the Ebola outbreak.

Travelers should also, as usual, 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).

Preparing to Travel to Sierra Leone

CDC recommends you take steps to protect yourself from other health risks in Sierra Leone. See Health Information for Travelers to Sierra Leone to learn more about ways to stay healthy and safe on your trip.

  • Travelers, particularly those who may have occupational exposure to Ebola, 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 allow the embassy to contact them in case of emergency.
  • Visit a travel medicine provider, ideally 4–6 weeks before you leave, to discuss health recommendations based on your medical history and travel plans.
  • Check your health insurance plan to learn what is covered in the event that you become sick. CDC recommends that anyone traveling to Sierra Leone have full coverage, including coverage for emergency medical evacuation.
    • Information about medical evacuation services can be found on the Air Ambulance/MedEvac/Medical Escort Providers page on the US Department of State’s website.
    • Be sure to check the coverage limits for evacuation insurance. Also check to see if the policy covers evacuation to the United States or to the nearest location where adequate medical care is offered.

Returning to the United States

CDC recommends that travelers from Sierra Leone watch their health for fever or other symptoms of Ebola for 21 days after they leave Sierra Leone. They should contact their state or local health department or seek health care if symptoms develop during this time.

Traveling to Other Countries or on Cruises

CDC does not recommend any travel restrictions for people arriving in the United States from Sierra Leone. However, other countries (and some cruise lines) might have policies in place that restrict travel.

  • If you plan to travel to another country, call the country's embassy to find out if they have any travel bans or quarantines for people who have recently been in Sierra Leone.
  • Some cruise lines may not allow passengers to board ships if they have recently been in, or traveled through, certain countries. Call the cruise line in advance if you are planning to take a cruise in the near future.

More Information

Traveler Information

Clinician Information