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Messages for U.S. Citizens

Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Update on Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever

April 1, 2014 | U.S. Embassy Monrovia, Liberia

The U.S. Embassy in Monrovia has been advised that a woman confirmed to have Ebola has traveled to the Firestone Plantation Camp in Monrovia.  The woman at Firestone contracted Ebola while caring for her sister who died of Ebola in Foya, Lofa County, Liberia.  She was at Foya under observation in isolation, but unfortunately left the Foya area late night on March 29 and traveled via taxi to Monrovia to see her husband.  Five other people were in the taxi with her, including the driver.  She then took a pehn pehn (motorcycle) to a nearby clinic, where she was seen and released.  This woman is the only person in Liberia confirmed to have Ebola at this time. 

Currently, the woman with Ebola and her family are quarantined in their home until they can be moved to an appropriate facility.  Contacts from the initial taxi, the taxi driver, and the motorcycle driver have been identified and are being followed closely by the Liberian Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOHSW) and the World Health Organization.  The MOHSW is coordinating identification, tracking, and preparing isolation plans. 

Risk of transmission remains very low as Ebola is contracted through contact with blood and body fluids or contaminated articles.  Symptoms may appear anywhere from 2 to 21 days after exposure to Ebola virus, though 8-10 days is most common. 

Individuals should avoid contact with critically ill patients.  Please see previous Ebola messages for specific guidance as to standard preventive measures against Ebola. 

To obtain Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) travel notices, call the CDC at 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636) from within the United States, or 1-404-639-3534 from overseas, or visit the CDC website at http://www.cdc.gov/travel. For more information on Ebola hemorrhagic fever, please visit the CDC website at www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola

We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens, especially those traveling to or residing in the forest region in South Central Guinea or Liberia’s northern border region enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) at www.Travel.State.Gov.  STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the U.S. embassy or nearest U.S. consulate to contact you in an emergency.  If you don’t have Internet access, enroll directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

You can stay in touch and get Embassy updates by checking the U.S. Embassy Monrovia website.  You can also get global updates at the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs website where you can find the current Worldwide Caution, Travel Warning, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information. Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook for travel information at your fingertips.  If you don't have internet access, current information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada, or, for callers from other countries, a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444.  These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

The U.S. Embassy in Monrovia is located 502 Benson Street, Monrovia, Liberia, and is open Mon – Thursday 0800- 1730 and Fridays 0800-1300; (Tel: 231 776 777 000).  If you are a U.S. citizen in need of urgent assistance, the emergency number for the U.S. Embassy is: 077-677-7000 (press 1 at the prompt).