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Africa: Response to the Ebola Virus

Response to the Ebola Virus

Fact Sheet
Bureau of African Affairs
August 14, 2014

The United States is working with the World Health Organization and other international partners to help West African governments respond to and contain the outbreak of the Ebola virus as quickly as possible.

The full range of relevant U.S. Government agencies — including the Department of State, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Department of Defense (DOD) — are increasing every possible form of assistance to the affected countries, their citizens and international organizations responding to the outbreak. U.S. assistance includes equipment and other essential supplies, public health messaging efforts, and technical and medical expertise.

  • The U.S. Department of State issued Travel Warnings against non-essential travel to Liberia and Sierra Leone.
  • Due to a lack of options for routine health care services, the Department of State ordered the departure of family members residing with Embassy staff in Monrovia and Freetown.

    • U.S. Government employees in both countries will remain on active duty at the Embassies, and additional staff members are being deployed to assist the Governments of Liberia and Sierra Leone in addressing the Ebola Virus Disease outbreak.
  • At this time, no Ebola-related travel restrictions have been issued by the State Department for Guinea, Nigeria, or Sierra Leone. However, CDC has issued alerts for the four countries. More information can be found at:

  • Our Embassies remain open and will continue business as usual in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone. We remain deeply committed to supporting regional and international efforts to deliver health care as well as contain and control the transmission of the Ebola virus.
  • The U.S. Government is monitoring the situation very closely and will update its response and travel recommendations as needed. You can find the latest information at
  • The U.S. Government has a range of steps in place to prevent the introduction, transmission and spread of suspected communicable diseases across the U.S. border.

    • We’re working closely across federal agencies and with African partners to make sure appropriate procedures are in place for screening both in the region and here in the United States.
    • As the CDC has stated repeatedly, there is no significant risk to the United States from Ebola.

Basic Ebola Facts From the CDC

  • Ebola is not transmitted through the air.
  • Individuals who are not showing signs of illness, even if infected, cannot spread the virus to others.
  • Health care workers who meticulously follow standard procedures to protect themselves from infection will be safe and able to provide medical care while protecting the entire community.

The most up-to-date information regarding the Ebola virus and its associated risks can be found on the website of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Related Links

Ebola Fact Sheet for Travelers

Testimony: Combating the Ebola Threat

USAID Ebola Page

U.S. Embassy Guinea

U.S. Embassy Liberia

U.S. Embassy Nigeria

U.S. Embassy Sierra Leone

World Health Organization

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