Ebola virus disease is a serious infection that is spread through direct contact with people who are sick with the infection, or with their blood or other body fluids, or with infected animals. At present there is no Ebola in Australia, so there is no risk of catching the infection here. People who have travelled or worked in affected countries in West Africa may have been exposed to Ebola.
NSW Health is well-prepared to treat the disease and prevent transmission or outbreaks, should any cases of Ebola occur in Australia.
Border measures are in place to check people coming from affected countries as they arrive in Australia. NSW Health is notified immediately if a person is unwell, or has had contact with Ebola. All people entering Australia from affected countries are provided with information about Ebola and what to do if symptoms develop.
Humanitarian aid healthcare workers returning from Ebola-affected countries cannot return to patient care duties for 21 days after leaving West Africa, and they remain under public health surveillance during that period.
NSW Health has trained surveillance officers in public health units across the state. If a case of Ebola is found in NSW, surveillance officers will identify all those they have had contact with, provide information about Ebola symptoms, and monitor them during the 21-day period to prevent any spread of infection.
- For people travelling to an area affected by the 2014 Ebola outbreak, protect yourself by doing the following:
- Wash hands frequently or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- Avoid contact with blood or body fluids of any person, particular someone who is sick
- Do not touch the body of someone who has died from Ebola
- Avoid contact with bats and nonhuman primates and do not touch or eat raw meat prepared from these animals
- Avoid hospitals in West Africa where Ebola patients are being treated
- Seek medical care immediately if you develop fever and any of the following symptoms: headache, muscle pain, diarrhoea, vomiting, stomach pain, or unexplained bruising or bleeding
- For further information for travellers see the Q&A for Travellers
- For information on official travel warnings, see the Smartraveller website