SE’s Ebola outbreak over

On June 19th, the WHO declared the end of the Ebola outbreak after just over four months, ‘a total of 16 confirmed and seven probable cases … in which 11 patients survived and 12 lives lost’. Lessons learned in fighting outbreaks in the DRC and the 2014-16 epidemic in Guinea resulted in ‘rapid, coordinated response efforts, community engagement, effective public health measures and the equitable use of vaccines’. Support from the WHO, which was also provided to neighbouring countries, will continue in Guinea to enhance surveillance and build capacity for response measures. Read more. And in other news, another Lassa fever case has been detected in the country’s SE forested region – this time in Beyla, Konyan region.

Advice for travellers

Lassa fever is an acute viral illness that occurs in West Africa, notably in Nigeria, Guinea, and Liberia. As many as 300,000 cases and 5,000 deaths occur each year. However, Lassa is a remote risk for most travellers. Rodents shed the virus in urine and droppings and it is spread between humans through direct contact with the blood, urine, faeces, or other bodily secretions of an infected person. Read more about Lassa fever.

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.