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UN calls for Ebola screening in affected countries

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  •   08-20-2014  9:58 am

UN calls for Ebola screening in affected countries

As the Ebola outbreak in western Africa continues, the United Nations is urging anyone from affected nations with symptoms of the disease to avoid travel unless part of a medical evacuation, and requested screenings of the disease at border crossings in those countries.

The United Nations World Health Organization said this week that any persons with an illness consistent with Ebola should not be allowed to travel by air, sea or land from affected countries unless it is part of a medical evacuation. The WHO also expressed concern over the threats and harassment of health workers in West African countries developing into a “worry element.”

As the number of cases reported by the World Health Organization (as of Aug. 13) reached 2,127 in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone, with a total of 1,145 deaths, the UN health agency today issued another update on travel and transport, requesting affected countries to ‘conduct exit screening of all persons at international airports, seaports and major land crossings, for unexplained febrile illness consistent with potential Ebola infection,’ according to the update.

However, the UN repeated that it “does not recommend any ban on international travel or trade, in accordance with advice from the WHO Ebola Emergency Committee,” adding that the risk of a traveller becoming infected with the Ebola virus during a visit to the affected countries and developing disease after returning is very low.

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