Ebola outbreak not a PHEIC

No declaration of a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) was the upshot of the WHO Emergency Committee meeting on June 14 regarding the Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in the NE, but the situation remains concerning, particularly in view of the recent spread to the western region of Uganda. It was found that all ‘three criteria for a PHEIC under the IHR’ were not met at the time. Current information on the outbreak from the Ministry of Health shows there have now been 2,187 confirmed or suspected EVD cases and 1,459 deaths. The Ugandan government announced yesterday that two members of the extended family that had travelled from the DRC seeking treatment had succumbed to Ebola and those remaining had been repatriated, including a young boy who has since died of the infection. Two new suspect cases are under isolation at Bwera Ebola Treatment Unit in Kasese District; test results are pending.

Advice for travellers

Ebola Virus disease is a severe viral haemorrhagic fever found in humans and other primates (such as monkeys, gorillas, and chimpanzees). It spreads through families and friends in close contact with blood and infectious secretions of people with obvious symptoms and, as such, presents a low risk to tourists to the affected countries. Read more about Ebola virus disease.

Before you travel, call Travelvax Australia’s telephone advisory service on 1300 360 164 (toll-free from landlines) for country-specific advice and information. You can also make an appointment at your nearest Travelvax clinic to obtain vaccinations, medication to prevent or treat illness, and accessories for your journey.