Gabon and Republic of the Congo Border Public Announcement
Issued by US Department of State
Jan 11, 2002
An outbreak of Ebola hemorrhagic fever identified in Ogooue-Ivindo province
of northeastern Gabon in December 2001 is not yet contained. The World
Health Organization (WHO) and the Gabonese Ministry of Health have
confirmed, as of January 8, that at least 17 people in Gabon have died from
the disease. A further 7 deaths across the border in the Republic of Congo
have been confirmed by WHO and the Congolese Ministry of Health.
Although health officials in Gabon are tracking a number of persons in
Libreville believed to have been exposed to the disease, no confirmed cases
of Ebola have been identified in Gabon outside of Ogooue-Ivindo province.
On January 4, the Gabonese government announced a quarantine of the
Americans should avoid travel to Ogooue-Ivindo province in Gabon and in the
areas of Congo which border that province. They are also advised to monitor
announcements from the Ministry of Health and the WHO, and to follow their
public health guidelines and recommendations.
Ebola is a severe, often fatal disease that is transmitted by direct contact
with an infected person or their bodily fluids. The virus is not
transmitted through casual contact and is only contagious during the stage
of the disease when the symptoms are apparent. Some of the symptoms include
bleeding, red and itchy eyes and vomiting blood. The disease is not spread
during the incubation or convalescence period.
For further information on Ebola, contact the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention (CDC) at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747); fax 1-888-CDC-FAXX
(1-888-232-3299); web site http://www.cdc.gov/travel.
For further general information regarding travel to Gabon or to the Republic
of the Congo, please consult the Department's latest Consular Information
Sheets for Gabon and for the Republic of Congo, which are also available on
the Internet at http://travel.state.gov.