Message from the UN Medical Services Division: Information on Ebola Virus Disease
The UN Medical Services Division (MSD) has been monitoring closely the recent outbreak of Ebola virus diseases (EVD) in West Africa and is supporting the preparedness and response efforts of our UN health facilities in the affected locations.
Treatment options within the affected countries for anyone who may contract EVD are likely to be limited, and medical evacuation capacities may be significantly disrupted.
Therefore, it is recommended that travel on official business to the countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea be restricted to essential travel only and that each travel request be reviewed on its mission criticality.
For the most updated information and list of countries affected in this recent outbreak, please consult the World Health Organisation website at http://www.who.int/csr/don/archive/disease/ebola/en/
The following are some important points about the transmission of EVD and precautions that should be taken to protect yourself and your family. Individuals become infected when they have direct physical contact with the blood or body fluids of infected person or animal, or contact with contaminated objects.
Persons who come into direct contact with the body fluids of an infected person at risk. To date, transmission among humans has been mainly due to caregiver family members or health care workers tending to the very ill or preparing the body for burial.
A person can incubate the virus symptoms for 2-21 days, the average being 5 to 8 days becoming ill. THE PERSON IS NOT CONTAGIOUS until they are acutely ill.
The virus is easily killed by contact with soap, bleach, sunlight, or drying. A washing machine will kill the virus in clothing saturated with infected blood or body fluids.
As always, practice good hygiene and hand washing techniques at all times. Symptoms of EVD include fever, weakness, muscle pain, headache and sore throat. This is followed by vomiting, diarrhoea, rash, and in some cases, bleeding.
If you have recently visited an area where Ebola has been reported and feel sick with any of the above symptoms, seek immediate medical attention.
There is no licensed vaccine or specific treatment for EVD. PYM