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.

Just Posted

Sooke school district creates new comprehensive school health position

Ruchi McArthur will develop framework to improve wellness of students

B.C. police watchdog investigating high-speed crash in Victoria

Police watchdog called in after dramatic early morning crash at Bay and Douglas intersection

VIDEO: RCMP officer killed in the line of duty remembered ‘through the laughter of children’

Sarah Beckett Memorial Playground opens with ceremony in Langford

Westhills Stadium launches expanded stadium with ceremony, excitement

expanded stadium accommodates 6,000 spectators

NCAA basketball comes to UVic this fall

Eight-team tournament features top university women’s basketball teams Nov. 28-30

Trudeau to meet with U.K. and Japanese prime ministers ahead of G7 summit

French President Emmanuel Macron, this year’s G7 host, has little expectations of a unified front from the leaders

B.C. man who died after rescuing swimmer was known for helping others

Shaun Nugent described as a dad, a coach, a hero and ‘stand-up guy’ at celebration of life

B.C. RCMP plane chases fleeing helicopter as part of major cross-border drug bust

The helicopter eventually landed at a rural property near Chilliwack

Vancouver Island man dead after reported hit-and-run incident

Oceanside RCMP seek public’s help gathering information

Thousands cycle to conquer cancer

The 11th annual Ride to Conquer Cancer took place Saturday morning, Aug. 24 in Surrey, B.C.

PHOTOS: Brazil military begins operations to fight Amazon fires

Amazon fires have become a global issue, escalating tensions between Brazil and European countries

Racist confrontation in Richmond parking lot caught on camera

Woman can be heard yelling racial slurs, swear words at woman in apparent parking dispute

Groups ready campaign to help young voters identify ‘fake news’ in election

The media literacy campaign to focus on identifying misinformation and suspicious sources online

Big rally in northern B.C. draws attention to continuing lumber crisis

Mayor Joan Atkinson says about 400 workers have been directly affected by the closure of the Canfor mill

Most Read