Ebola in MaliUpdated November 19, 2014
Updated: November 16, 2014
The purpose of this alert is to notify travelers that a few Ebola cases have been reported in Bamako, Mali, and to inform travelers of actions they can take to reduce their risk of getting the disease.
CDC recommends that travelers to Mali protect themselves by avoiding contact with the blood and body fluids of people who are sick, because of the possibility they may be sick with Ebola. Although the current cluster of cases has been reported only in Bamako, travelers to all parts of Mali should be alert for reports of possible further spread within the country.
What is the current situation?
As of November 12, 2014, the World Health Organization reported a cluster of Ebola cases in Bamako, Mali (see box for case counts). The cluster in Bamako is linked to a man who had been in a clinic in Bamako after becoming sick in Guinea. Since that time, a small number of Ebola cases linked to this patient have been reported in Bamako. (An unrelated death from Ebola occurred in Kayes, Mali on October 24, 2014 and no additional cases related to that person have been reported.) The Malian government has taken actions to contain further spread of Ebola. CDC recommends that travelers to Mali avoid contact with the blood and body fluids of people who are sick and follow the other recommendations listed below, in order to protect themselves from Ebola.
The cases of Ebola in Bamako, Mali, are related to an ongoing Ebola outbreak that has been occurring since March 2014 in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone and is the largest outbreak of Ebola in history.
What is Ebola?
Ebola is a rare and deadly disease. The disease is caused by infection with one of the Ebola virus species (Zaire, Sudan, Bundibugyo, or Tai Forest virus). Ebola is spread by direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes in, for example, the eyes, nose, or mouth) with
- blood or body fluids (such as urine, saliva, sweat, feces, vomit, breast milk, and semen) of a person who is sick with Ebola,
- objects (like needles and syringes) that have been contaminated with the virus, and
- infected fruit bats or primates (apes and monkeys).
Signs of Ebola include fever and symptoms such as severe headache, fatigue (feeling very tired), muscle pain, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, or unexplained bleeding or bruising.
Who is at risk?
Travelers could be infected if they come into contact with blood or body fluids from someone who is sick or has died from Ebola. Healthcare workers and the family and friends in close contact with Ebola patients are at risk of getting sick because they may come in contact with infected blood or body fluids.
People also can become sick with Ebola if they come into contact with infected wildlife or raw or undercooked bushmeat (wild animals hunted for food) from an infected animal.