CDC Issues Ebola Virus Advisory

Recent cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD) underscore the potential for travel-associated spread of the disease and the risks of EVD to health care workers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which issued a health advisory July 28. 

Nigerian health authorities confirmed a diagnosis of EVD in a patient who died on Friday in a hospital in Lagos, Nigeria, after traveling from Liberia on July 20, 2014. The report marks the first Ebola case in Nigeria linked to the current outbreak in the West African countries of Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia. Health authorities also reported two U.S. citizens working in a hospital in Monrovia, Liberia, have confirmed Ebola virus infection. 

CDC is working with the World Health Organization (WHO), the ministries of health of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, and other international organizations in response to an outbreak of EVD in West Africa, which was first reported in late March. As of July 23, according to WHO, 1,201 cases and 672 deaths (case fatality, 55 percent to 60 percent) had been reported in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. This is the largest outbreak of EVD ever documented and the first recorded in West Africa. 

According to CDC, EVD is characterized by sudden onset of fever and malaise, accompanied by other nonspecific signs and symptoms, such as myalgia, headache, vomiting, and diarrhea. Patients with severe forms of the disease may develop multiorgan dysfunction, including hepatic damage, renal failure, and central nervous system involvement, leading to shock and death. 

EVD poses little risk to the U.S. general population at this time. However, CDC advises U.S. health care workers to be alert for signs and symptoms of EVD in patients with compatible illness who have a recent (within 21 days) travel history to countries where the outbreak is occurring, and should consider isolation of those patients meeting these criteria, pending diagnostic testing. 

Visit the CDC website for more information on EVD and for interim guidance on EVD for health care workers.

Action, Aug. 1, 2014


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