Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreaks in West Africa

31 Jul 2014

The largest outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) ever reported is continuing in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone in West Africa. As of 15 July 2014, there were 964 clinically-compatible cases across the three countries, of which 706 have been laboratory confirmed, and 603 have died (case fatality rate 63%).

The Australian Government Department of Health (DoH) assesses the likelihood of Ebola being imported to Australia as very low.

The risk of infection is extremely low unless there has been direct exposure to the bodily fluids of an infected person or animal (alive or dead), including unprotected sexual contact with confirmed cases up to seven weeks after they have recovered.

The DoH states that Australia has long standing and efficient health status checking processes in-flight, and at the primary line at airports during which Commonwealth border officers can refer ill passengers to quarantine officers with rapid referral if required.

Advice on Ebola virus disease for GPs is available on the DoH website.
The WHO also has a factsheet on EVD.