Gabon and the Republic of Congo Travel Warning
Issued by US Department of State
Feb 20, 2002
Ebola hemorrhagic fever, previously confined to Ogooue-Ivindo province in
northeastern Gabon and the border region of the Republic of the Congo, is
not yet contained.
In January of 2002, more than 23 cases were confirmed in the Ogooue-Ivindo
province of Gabon and the Republic of Congo border region.
One case of Ebola has now been identified in Haut-Ogooue province in
southeastern Gabon. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Gabonese
Ministry of Health have confirmed 43 deaths from the disease in Gabon, and
WHO has confirmed 13 deaths in the Republic of the Congo. Health officials
continue to respond to new cases in the affected areas.
U.S. Government personnel in the Haut-Ogooue region have been instructed to
depart. Americans visiting or resident in Gabon and Republic of the Congo
are cautioned to avoid the affected regions of the two countries, to monitor
public health 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 its active
phase. The disease is not spread during the incubation or convalescence
As a precautionary measure, persons should 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 also been an important
contributing factor in previous outbreaks of Ebola hemorrhagic fever. No
vaccine or antiviral medication is available for treatment of Ebola
For further information on Ebola, please 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 at 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
Sheet for Gabon and for the Republic of Congo, which are also available on
the Internet at http://travel.state.gov.