News

Canadian agency upgrades travel warning

FILE - In this undated file image by the CDC shows an ebola Virus. U.S. health officials on Thursday, July 31, 2014, warned Americans not to travel to the three African countries, hit by an outbreak of Ebola. The travel advisory applies to non-essential travel to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. (AP Photo/CDC, File) - Photo for: Sierra Leone cyclist cleared of Ebola at Glasgow
FILE - In this undated file image by the CDC shows an ebola Virus. U.S. health officials on Thursday, July 31, 2014, warned Americans not to travel to the three African countries, hit by an outbreak of Ebola. The travel advisory applies to non-essential travel to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. (AP Photo/CDC, File)
— image credit: Photo for: Sierra Leone cyclist cleared of Ebola at Glasgow

By The Canadian Press

OTTAWA - Health officials are telling Canadians to avoid travel to three African countries hit hard by an outbreak of Ebola virus.

The Public Health Agency of Canada says the recommendation that Canadians avoid all non-essential travel to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone is in line with an advisory issued by the United States.

The agency had said Thursday there was no need for a travel warning, based on information from the World Health Organization (WHO).

But it has upgraded its travel health notice, saying Canadians can help health officials control the outbreak in the affected countries by staying away.

The health agency says while the risk of contracting the illness remains low, travellers could find it hard to access health care services if they get sick, and could also be exposed to the virus while seeking medical care.

A statement from Health Minister Rona Ambrose and Lynne Yelich, minister of state for foreign and consular affairs, said the travel recommendation is meant to protect Canadian travellers and allow health officials in the affected countries to focus their resources on responding to the Ebola outbreak.

“The government is closely monitoring the situation and is in close contact with our missions responsible for the affected regions," the statement said.

"Canada and its international partners are working around the clock to provide support to the affected regions."

The statement said Canada has committed $1.41 million to date, and is providing Public Health Agency of Canada experts and a mobile lab in Sierra Leone to the Ebola fight.

It said there are no confirmed Ebola cases in Canada.

The World Health Organization says that, as of Thursday, 729 people have died as a result of the outbreak.

Just over 1,300 people are known to have been infected since February. In response, the WHO has launched a $100-million plan to combat the outbreak.

WHO Director General Margaret Chan was to meet today with the presidents of affected countries in Guinea. Nigeria has also reported one death due to Ebola, in a person who had travelled ill from Liberia.

Ebola virus is a rare and severe disease which can infect both humans and non-human primates. The virus is contagious and is spread by direct contact with blood or bodily fluids from a sick person.

Symptoms of the illness include fever, intense weakness, headache, sore throat and pains, and could involve bleeding from different parts of the body.

The current outbreak is the largest since the disease first emerged in Africa nearly 40 years ago.

The health conditions of two American aid workers who contracted Ebola while helping fight the outbreak have worsened, two relief organizations said on Thursday.

Missionary Nancy Writebol and Dr. Kent Brantly are listed in "stable but grave condition" in Liberia, according to relief groups Samaritan's Purse and Serving In Mission, both based in North Carolina.

Writebol and Brantly were part of a team from the two agencies that was working in Monrovia, Liberia.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

Secret Service boosts security outside White House
 
New Brunswick Tories ran positively: premier
 
VIDEO: Netflix steps into showdown against Canadian TV commission
White House intruder identified as Army veteran
 
Florida town knew shooter had troubled past
 
Buffer zone agreed on in Ukrainian peace talks
Sex workers protected by bill, minister says
 
American family on tour bus recalls crash
 
Queen to Scots: Think carefully about future

Community Events, September 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Sep 19 edition online now. Browse the archives.