Although the number of Ebola cases in Mali remains small, unlike with their first introduction of the virus last month - local transmission has occurred and may still be occurring (see WHO Statement On 2nd Introduction Of Ebola Into Mali)- prompting the CDC to issue an updated travel Alert.
Level 3 Warnings remain in effect for Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea, while a Level 2 Alert has been issued for Mali.
I’ve only posted some excerpts from the Mali update. Follow the link to read it in its entirety.
Alert - Level 2, Practice Enhanced Precautions
Updated: November 16, 2014
The purpose of this alert is to notify travelers that a few Ebola cases have been reported in Bamako, Mali, and to inform travelers of actions they can take to reduce their risk of getting the disease.
CDC recommends that travelers to Mali protect themselves by avoiding contact with the blood and body fluids of people who are sick, because of the possibility they may be sick with Ebola. Although the current cluster of cases has been reported only in Bamako, travelers to all parts of Mali should be alert for reports of possible further spread within the country.
At a Glance
- Total Cases: 4
- Laboratory-Confirmed Cases: 3
- Total Deaths: 3
What is the current situation?
As of November 12, 2014, the World Health Organization reported a cluster of Ebola cases in Bamako, Mali (see box for case counts). The cluster in Bamako is linked to a man who had been in a clinic in Bamako after becoming sick in Guinea. Since that time, a small number of Ebola cases linked to this patient have been reported in Bamako. (An unrelated death from Ebola occurred in Kayes, Mali on October 24, 2014 and no additional cases related to that person have been reported.) The Malian government has taken actions to contain further spread of Ebola. CDC recommends that travelers to Mali avoid contact with the blood and body fluids of people who are sick and follow the other recommendations listed below, in order to protect themselves from Ebola.
The cases of Ebola in Bamako, Mali, are related to an ongoing Ebola outbreak that has been occurring since March 2014 in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone and is the largest outbreak of Ebola in history.
Returning to the United States
The United States now requires all travelers to the United States whose trip starts in Guinea, Liberia, or Sierra Leone to enter through one of five US airports (JFK in New York, Newark in New Jersey, Dulles in Virginia near Washington D.C., Hartsfield-Jackson in Atlanta, and O’Hare in Chicago). Beginning November 17, 2014, air travelers to the United States whose trip starts in Mali will also be required to enter the United States through one of these five airports. These airports have enhanced entry screening, which helps identify travelers who may be sick with Ebola or may have had an exposure to Ebola and ensure that these travelers are connected with a health department and given medical care, if needed.
If you are traveling from Mali to the United States,
- You should be prepared for screeners to check your temperature and look for signs and symptoms of illness. You will also be asked to answer questions about possible exposures to someone with Ebola.
- You will be given a CARE (Check and Report Ebola) Kit with information about Ebola and tools to help you check your temperature and symptoms each day for 21 days.
Symptom Monitoring and Movement Restrictions
You will be connected to a health department in your final destination. Public health workers will assess your health and Ebola risk level to decide how best to monitor you for symptoms and what other restrictions may be needed.
- All returning travelers will be actively monitored, which means that public health workers are responsible for checking at least once a day to see if you have a fever or other Ebola symptoms. This will continue for 21 days after the last possible exposure (such as 21 days after leaving Mali).
- You will be asked to take your temperature 2 times a day and watch yourself for Ebola symptoms.
- A public health worker will tell you how to report your temperature and any symptoms each day. You might do this by phone, during a daily visit, or online.
- The public health worker will also tell you what to do if you have a fever (temperature of 100.4°F/38°C or above) or other symptoms (severe headache, fatigue [feeling very tired], muscle pain, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, and unexplained bleeding or bruising).
- If you have a fever or other symptoms, it is very important that you get medical care right away. Follow the directions the public health worker tells you. But if you cannot reach someone right away, you can contact your state health department or call CDC at 1-800-232-4636. If you have a medical emergency, call 911.
- Based on your level of possible exposure to Ebola, your travel and public activities may be limited.