As at 14 August 2014 noon, there have been no laboratory-confirmed cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in South Africa associated with the current outbreak in West Africa (affecting Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria).

The risk of infection for travellers is generally low since most human infections result from direct contact with the body fluids or secretions of infected patients, particularly in hospitals (nosocomial transmission) and as a result of unsafe procedures, use of contaminated medical devices (including needles and syringes) and unprotected exposure to contaminated body fluids.

EVD cases have been reported from the capital cities of Conakry, Monrovia and Freetown during the current outbreak. Given the frequency of travel between southern and western African countries, there is a risk of EVD cases being imported into South Africa, but overall this risk is low. Healthcare or international agency workers etc. involved in the outbreak response may also travel to and present in South Africa for medical care, and a high index of suspicion is important for such cases. A detailed history regarding travel and level of contact with suspected/confirmed EVD cases is extremely important. Travel from a country not affected by the outbreak but that has reported imported EVD cases themselves only constitutes a risk when there has been subsequent local transmission of Ebola virus within that country.

Information provided by the NICD