DFAT Warns Australians Travelling To West Africa Of 'Limited Options For Assistance' If You Contract Ebola

Red Cross workers carry the body of a woman who died of the Ebola virus during a 1995 outbreak in the Congo.

All Australian embassy personnel have deferred non-essential travel plans to West African regions affected by the Ebola outbreak and is recommending Australian travelers do the same.

Last night Sierra Leone’s president Ernest Bai Koroma declared a state of emergency to tackle the worst ever outbreak of Ebola.

The death toll attributed to EVD is now at 672 across the West Africa nations of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, according to the World Health Organisation.

Following Koroma’s announcement, Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has released a warning to Australians that if they chose to go against the government’s advice not to travel to these regions they should “be aware that medical evacuations for any potential Ebola patient will be extremely difficult to conduct.”

The statement continues to say: “The standards of local emergency health care in affected countries are well below Australian standards. The Australian Government may have limited options in providing consular assistance in these circumstances. If you are in or considering travelling to affected countries, please contact your travel insurance provider to check the details of your cover.”

Along with the standard travel advice of listening to local health authorities and maintaining strict standards of hygiene, DFAT has told travelers that they could become stranded in the country at any time if the outbreak worsens.

“Liberia has closed the majority of its borders in a bid to combat the spread of the disease. Those entry points that remain open, such as Roberts International Airport in Monrovia, are being used as Ebola prevention and screening centres. Countries in the region may change travel restrictions and airport procedures with little or no warning.”

Read the full statement here.

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