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EBOLA and traveling overseas?

18 Aug 2014

Anyone arriving from these affected West African countries will also be given information about the symptoms of Ebola and advised how to seek help in New Zealand if they become unwell. These changes are in line with similar targeted screening measures in Australia.  Unlike Australia we have no direct flights from Africa so this is an additional precaution.Confirmed and suspected cases of Ebola have been reported in the West African countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

New Zealanders should carefully consider the need to travel to these areas.

Questions and Answers on Ebola
What is Ebola?
Ebola virus causes a viral haemorrhagic fever disease. Symptoms include: fever, headache, joint and muscle aches, weakness, diarrhoea, vomiting, stomach pain, lack of appetite and abnormal bleeding. Symptoms may appear 2 to 21 days after exposure to ebolavirus though 8-10 days is the most common incubation period.

How Is Ebola Transmitted?
Ebola is transmitted through direct contact with the blood and bodily fluids of an infected symptomatic person or through exposure to objects (for example needles) that have been contaminated with infected body secretions.

What is being done to prevent ill passengers in West Africa from getting on planes?
The Centre for Disease Control based in the USA is assisting with active screening and education efforts on the ground in West Africa to prevent ill travelers getting on planes.

In addition airports in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea are screening all outbound passengers for Ebola symptoms, including fever. Passengers also have to respond to a healthcare questionnaire.

Keep Updated from the World Health Organisation and from the NZ Ministry of Health

Are you traveling to the Pacific?

Be aware that there is a Dengue fever outbreak prompting a health warning from Auckland Regional Public Health.
Since October 2013, Fiji has recorded more than 10,000 cases. It is best to protect yourself from mosquito bites by:

1. wearing lightly-coloured clothing covering arms and legs, along with hats and shoes,
2. applying insect repellent containing 40% diethyl tolumide (DEET), to skin and clothing and
3. staying in accommodation that is air-conditioned or has screens on doors and windows. 

Dengue has also emerged in French Polynesia, Vanuatu and New Caledonia.

Preparing to travel overseas?
Check out what the Centre fro Disease Control recommends for travel vaccines.

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