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Ebola: What you should know

Ebola: What you should know

The growing Ebola crisis prompted the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to issue a warning on July 31 against non-essential travel to Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, the West African countries experiencing the outbreak. Also on July 31, the government of Sierra Leone declared a public health emergency to ensure a proper response plan was being implemented to handle the outbreak of the Ebola virus. Additionally, the Ghanaian government announced on July 31 that enhanced medical screening in the form of body temperature scans will take place for those arriving at border crossings as well as at Kotoka International Airport (ACC) in the capital, Accra. Quarantine areas will also be set up at ACC and the country’s border crossings.

Global Rescue is advising our members to closely adhere to the World Health Organization guidelines:

·Infection by the Ebola virus is by contact with blood or body fluids of an infected person or animal, or by contact with contaminated objects:

Contact with blood or bodily fluids of a person or corpse infected with the Ebola virus.
Contact with or handling of wild animals, alive or dead or their raw or undercooked meat.
Having sexual intercourse with a sick person or a person recovering from Ebola virus disease (EVD) for at least 7 weeks.
Having contact with any object, such as needles, that has been contaminated with blood or bodily fluids.
Symptoms include fever, weakness, muscle pain, headache and sore throat. This is followed by vomiting, diarrhea, rash, and in some cases, bleeding.
Persons who come into direct contact with body fluids of an infected person or animal are at risk.
There is no licensed vaccine.
Practice careful hygiene and other preventive measures:
In case of a passenger presenting with symptoms compatible with EVD (fever, weakness, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, vomiting, diarrhea, bleeding) on board of an aircraft, the following measures should be immediately considered, in accordance with operational procedures recommended by the International Air Transport Association (IATA):
Distancing of other passengers if possible from the symptomatic passenger (re-seating); with the ill travelers preferably near a toilet, for his/her exclusive use.
Covering nose and mouth of the patient with a surgical facemask (if tolerated).
Limiting contacts to the passenger to the minimum necessary. More specifically, only one or two (if ill passenger requires more assistance) cabin crew should be taking care of the ill passenger and preferably only the cabin crew that have already been in contact with that passenger.
Hand washing with soap after any direct or indirect contact with the passenger.
Immediate notification of authorities at the destination airport in accordance with procedures promulgated by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
Immediate isolation of passenger upon arrival.
Avoid all contact with blood and body fluids of infected people or animals.
Do not handle items that may have come in contact with an infected person’s blood or body fluids.
Avoid contact with wild animals. Do not eat primate meat (“bushmeat”).
Practice good hand washing.
If you have stayed in the areas where Ebola cases have been recently reported, seek medical attention if you feel sick (fever, headache, achiness, sore throat, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, rash, or red eyes).
The incubation period of EVD varies from 2 to 21 days. Person-to-person transmission by means of direct contact with infected persons or their body fluids/secretions is considered the principal mode of transmission. In a household study, secondary transmission took place only if direct physical contact occurred. No transmission was reported without this direct contact. Airborne transmission has not been documented during previous EVD outbreaks.
The following link can be accessed for more information:http://www.who.int/ith/updates/20140421/en/

Call Global Rescue immediately at 617-459-4200 if you are a traveling Global Rescue member and have questions, symptoms, or concerns about your health.

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