Ebola outbreak in West Africa – rising number of calls to International SOS

Sunday, July 13, 2014
By Paul Martin

July 13, 2014

International SOS has seen another rise in the number of requests for advice on Ebola in recent weeks.

Number of June requests for advice up 400% on May
Education toolkit made available to UN and other organisations
Risk to business travellers is low, but vigilance required

Since 1 March, 2014 the medical and travel security group has received hundreds of requests for advice on the outbreak, which has spread to different countries in West Africa.

The number of requests for help in June was 400% up on the total figure for the month of May.

The requests come from client organisations and/or their members travelling overseas or living and working as expatriates. In recent months doctors at International SOS have supported over 100 client organisations with physicians working on client sites in a number of locations close to where cases have been confirmed.

Other data from the 27 International SOS assistance centres shows:

Approx 56% of the requests were generated in Guinea, 17% in Liberia and 16% Sierra Leone
Outside Africa, the UK has generated the highest number of calls (approximately 6%)
In April there were 83% more requests for advice than in March

Dr Doug Quarry, Medical Director at International SOS said:

“The risk to business travellers is low, if they follow the proper procedures. Business travellers or expats who need medical assistance should be aware that going to a local hospital that might be treating people with Ebola is risky. Variable infection control practices in hospitals allow the disease to spread to healthcare workers. International SOS continues to monitor this and ensures we refer members to Ebola-free facilities. Understanding the situation and making precautionary calls to International SOS reduces the risk of infection and ensures clients receive safe, high-quality treatment from a secure medical centre.“

After Ebola was first recognised in Guinea in late March, International SOS quickly implemented a number of measures, including:

The Rest...HERE

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