General guidance on ebola virus

September 2014

You may already be aware of the outbreak of the Ebola virus which is currently affecting West African countries.

The risk to travellers visiting affected countries is considered to be low, as long as individuals are not involved in any activities that place them in direct contact with infected persons. However, travellers to affected countries should be aware of the guidance from Public Health England. Anyone visiting affected countries should still check for travel updates from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

What is Ebola and how is it spread?

Ebola is a serious haemorrhagic disease which is spread though contact with bodily fluids. It is not spread through ordinary social contact with people who are well, such as shaking hands or sitting next to someone. The risk of the disease spreading to the UK is considered by the Government to be low, but the situation is being monitored and precautions are being taken.

Who is at risk?

If you believe that you have been potentially exposed to Ebola virus, you should seek medical attention immediately, limit contact with others and avoid travel. If you experience any symptoms consistent with Ebola within the first 21 days of return to the UK, you should stay at home and immediately telephone 111 or 999 and explain that you have recently visited West Africa.

Visit the following websites for the most up-to-date and detailed information: