WHO releases update on Ebola status in West Africa

The World Health Organization (WHO) released a statement Monday on a meeting of the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee on the Ebola virus that took place over this past weekend. 

During the meeting, held via teleconference and electronic correspondence, representatives from Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone presented an update on the epidemiological status of the outbreak. Liberia has been declared free of Ebola virus disease (EVD) while active chains of EVD were reported in Guinea and Sierra Leone.
   
The WHO reported that recent case counts have been under 10 per week.

One concern the committee discussed was measures and restrictions on transport and travel that exist in 34 countries. They said that these measures were disproportionate to the risks posed and that they harm recovery and response efforts.
   
The WHO recommended that for countries with active cases, international travel should be prohibited to confirmed cases and their contacts unless it is for medical evacuation purposes, exit screenings should be performed at all international transportation ports and cross-border transport of human remains should be prohibited unless otherwise authorized.

For nations without active cases, WHO recommended international travel and trade should not be banned and travel restrictions should not be in place for those that have survived EVD. The WHO also instructs countries that overly stringent limitations on travel and trade should be lifted by mid-October. If a case is reported, that country should implement full recommendations for states with Ebola transmission.

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