3 April 2014

Liberia: Ebola Transmission Risks 'Very Low' - U.S. Updates Citizens

The U.S. Embassy in Monrovia has been advised that a woman confirmed to have Ebola has traveled to the Firestone Plantation Camp in Monrovia. The woman at Firestone contracted Ebola while caring for her sister who died of Ebola in Foya, Lofa County, Liberia. She was at Firestone under observation in isolation, but unfortunately left the Foya area late night on March 29 and traveled via taxi to Monrovia to see her husband. Five other people were in the taxi with her, including the driver. She then took a pehn pehn (motorcycle) to a nearby clinic, where she was seen and released. This woman is the only person in Liberia confirmed to have Ebola at this time.

Currently, the woman with Ebola and her family are quarantined in their home until they can be moved to an appropriate facility. Contacts from the initial taxi, the taxi driver, and the motorcycle driver have been identified and are being followed closely by the Liberian Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOHSW) and the World Health Organization. The MOHSW is coordinating identification, tracking, and preparing isolation plans.

Risk of transmission remains very low as Ebola is contracted through contact with blood and body fluids or contaminated articles. Symptoms may appear anywhere from 2 to 21 days after exposure to Ebola virus, though 8-10 days is most common.

We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens, especially those traveling to or residing in the forest region in South Central Guinea or Liberia's northern border region enroll in the Department of State's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) at www.travel.state.gov. STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the U.S. embassy or nearest U.S. consulate to contact you in an emergency. If you don't have Internet access, enroll directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or consulate.

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