FILE - In this undated file image by the CDC shows an ebola Virus. U.S. health officials on Thursday

Canadian agency upgrades travel warning

Public health agency urges Canadians to stay away from Ebola-affected countries

  • Aug. 1, 2014 8:00 a.m.

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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Undercover operation exposes prominent human trafficking problem in Greater Victoria

VicPD’s Operation No More took place in mid-June at a local hotel

Victoria man in custody after shooting in 100-block of Gorge Road East

The man is facing recommended charges including assault with a weapon

Langford approves permit for 124-unit mass timber building

Tallwood 1 to be completed by late 2021

Book stores in Victoria notice uptick in sales for anti-racism titles

White Fragility, How to be an Antiracist are among the best selling titles

‘This year is unlike any other’: Trudeau delivers Canada day address

Sophie Gregoire Trudeau and the Prime Minister release video celebrating the national holiday

Tsilhqot’in Nation demands meeting with feds on declining Fraser River chinook stocks

The Nation wants to partner with DFO to rebuild and recover the stocks

Gov. General honours Canadians for bravery, volunteer service

Five categories of winners presented on Canada Day

COVID-19: Should non-medical masks be mandatory in Canada?

New poll shows Canadians are divided on the rules around mandatory masks

‘A little bit scary for everybody’: Air passengers wary as new rules take effect

Masks or face coverings have been mandatory on flights since April 20

VIDEO: Prince William and Kate chat with B.C. hospital staff about COVID-19

Seven-minute video posted to Youtube on Canada Day

River centre says heavy rains could bring flooding to central, northeastern B.C.

Water levels are already unusually high and river banks can be extremely unstable

Campbell River’s defunct cruise ship terminal to undergo evaluation for future plans

With no cruise ship coming through, the $16million terminal has been a white elephant for over 13 years

Most Read