Deadly Virus Kills 80 In West Africa

Expats and business travellers visiting some parts of West Africa are warned that more than 80 people have died from the deadly Ebola virus.

Nearly 150 cases have been reported to doctors across Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia and Ghana.

The outbreak is centred on Guinea, where another 400 suspected cases are under investigation.

The cause of the virus is unknown, but is spread among humans, primates and bats.

An infection can lead to multiple organ failure and death.

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) has warned travellers to stay away until the virus is brought under control.

“The area is not popular with British travellers,” said a spokesman. “Most are expats or on short business visits and they should avoid drinking unbottled water and bush meat.”

Other travel warnings

Other travel warnings from the FCO include:

  • Mali – All but essential travel to the northern two-thirds of the country is considered dangerous due to insurgents and civil war

  • Sri Lanka – Everyone except media crews are free to visit the northern districts of Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mannar, Mullaittivu and Vavuniya, after the military lifted a ban on travel. However, military operations are ongoing and heed signs warning of land mines

  • Soloman Islands – Heavy rain and flash floods have devastated much of the country and the government has declared a state of emergency for Honiara and Guadalcanal province.

Henderson Field airport is open, but roads, bridges and towns have been badly hit by floods.

Food and fresh water are in short supply.

  • The Gambia – Travellers are warned against anti-British sentiment and demonstrations in the country after the government decided to withdraw from The Commonwealth

  • Ecuador – Expats and travellers to the country are urged to stay away from the Tungurahua or Reventador volcanoes due to renewed volcanic activity. Tungurahua erupted on April 4, 2014, spreading ash and debris nearby.

The FCO is also concerned of an increasing number of armed robberies, but points out that of nearly 25,000 British visitors a year, few are involved in any crime.

Finding out about problems abroad

The FCO maintains a regularly updated country-by-country database reporting issues that are likely to affect expats, business travellers and tourists.

For foreign travel advice updates, visit the Foreign & Commonwealth Office web site

To discover more about health issues, look at the latest news from the National Travel Health Network and Centre online

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