Cigna International Health Insurance

Gabon Public Announcement

Issued by US Department of State

Dec 13, 2001

The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported an outbreak of Ebola, a viral hemorrhagic fever, in Ogooue-Ivindo province in northeastern Gabon. As of December 11, WHO has received reports of 12 suspected cases, including 10 deaths. The Gabonese ministries of Health and Defense, the WHO, and the U.S. Embassy in Libreville, Gabon are all tracking the situation closely. The Gabonese government and the WHO have dispatched public health teams to Ogooue-Ivindo province to manage the outbreak and investigate its source.

Ebola hemorrhagic fever is a severe, often fatal disease. The virus is transmitted by contact with an infected person or their bodily fluids, or by contact with objects (for example, needles) contaminated with the virus. Such contact should be strictly avoided. As a precautionary measure, avoid funeral rites, which involve close proximity to the deceased or funeral attendees. Rapid spread of the virus in hospitals and other health-care settings has been an important contributing factor in previous outbreaks of Ebola hemorrhagic fever. No vaccine or antiviral medication is available for treatment of Ebola hemorrhagic fever.

U.S. Government personnel in the affected region have been instructed to depart. Americans visiting or resident in Gabon are cautioned to avoid the affected region of the country. Americans in Ogooue-Ivindo province and surrounding areas in northeastern Gabon are advised to follow the above health precautions, to monitor public health announcements from the Ministry of Health and the WHO, and to follow their public health guidelines and recommendations.

For further information on Ebola, please contact the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), telephone 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747), fax 1-888-CDC-FAXX (1-888-232-3299), web site: http://www.cdc.gov/travel.

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