Travel restrictions discussed at Ebola emergency committee's eighth meeting

Travel restrictions discussed at Ebola emergency committee's eighth meeting.
The World Health Organization (WHO) issued a statement this week following the eighth meeting of the emergency committee on the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

Representatives from Liberia and Sierra Leone issued presentations on the current status in both countries and the progress that has been made in response capacities and survivor care, among other items.

The committee stated that the reintroduction of the Ebola virus constitutes the continued international support in mitigating the outbreak. Approximately 10 reintroduction cases are reported to have taken place between March and November of this year. The WHO reports that the most recent occurrences appeared in Liberia Nov. 19.

The committee suggests that communicating the risks of reintroduction of the virus has been essential for survivors of the disease. Studies have shown that trace amounts of viral material can reside in certain bodily fluids for a long period of time after infection.

The WHO notes that the travel and transport restrictions placed by 34 countries are unwarranted and states that these impede recovery efforts. To countries that do not have cases, the committee recommends that restrictions and bans on transport and travel be terminated. Countries are also encouraged to inform passengers of the risks of the disease should they travel to an affected country.

States that have Ebola cases are to continue mitigation efforts and governmental officials should address citizens, providing information and progress updates.

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