Countries take more control steps as Ebola totals grow

Thursday, August 14, 2014
By Paul Martin

Lisa Schnirring
CIDRAP News
Aug 13, 2014

Countries inside and outside Africa have taken new steps to limit the spread of West Africa’s Ebola outbreak, from travel-related measures in Africa to a Canadian government offer to donate doses of an experimental Ebola vaccine.

Meanwhile, the number of new infections and deaths continued to climb in the four affected countries, pushing the overall number of cases close to 2,000.

African countries restrict travel

Guinea-Bissau’s prime minister yesterday announced that the country had closed its border with Guinea to limit the spread of the virus, Reuters reported today. The order, which took effect yesterday, applies to official road border points, but it may be difficult to enforce in rural border areas. The border with Guinea is on the southern and eastern edges of Guinea-Bissau.

Elsewhere, Ivory Coast on Aug 11 banned travelers from Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia and ordered its main air carrier to suspend flights to and from the three countries, said a story today in Vanguard, a newspaper based in Lagos, Nigeria. Ivory Coast has not detected any Ebola virus disease (EVD) cases but is bordered on the west by both Guinea and Liberia.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has said cross-border travel is one of the challenges for the affected countries, and it has discouraged the cross-border transport of the bodies of dead EVD victims. However, in general it does not recommend travel or trade restrictions, except when EVD cases are suspected or confirmed or when individuals have had contact with a sick person.

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