On March 22, the World Health Organization (WHO) released updated information regarding the Marburg virus disease (MVD) outbreak in Equatorial Guinea (EG). Based on this information, the U.S. Embassy is implementing a new, temporary policy under which official travel to the mainland region – including Bata – by Embassy employees is only permitted for mission-critical needs, such as support for the MVD response.
According to the WHO update, following the testing of suspected cases that began March 10, there have now been a total of nine laboratory-confirmed cases and 20 probable cases since the declaration of the outbreak in February. There are seven deaths among the laboratory-confirmed cases, and all probable cases have also died. There has now been a total of four confirmed cases in Bata, as well as two suspected cases linked to Evinayong.
Confirmed cases have now been detected in an area spanning over 100 miles. According to the WHO, the wide geographic distribution of cases and uncertain epidemiological links in Centro Sur province suggest the potential for undetected community spread of the virus. The WHO characterizes the risk for the virus’s spread to be very high at the national level, high at the sub-regional level, moderate at the regional level, and low at the global level. The WHO is continuing to review this assessment.
This uptick in the number of confirmed cases was expected due to the start of local testing performed by EG Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MINSABS) personnel, with the support of a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) team that remains on the ground in mainland EG.
The Kie-Ntem province in the mainland region of EG remains under quarantine. MINSABS has not yet announced any new quarantine measures for other impacted areas.
MINSABS officials have announced that they will soon begin daily reports on case numbers and other related data, which will be posted to their website.
The U.S. Embassy will continue to send out regular updates to U.S. citizens living in or traveling to EG until health officials declare an end to the crisis. These alerts will also be posted to the Embassy’s website here. The CDC’s webpage on the MVD outbreak in EG includes updates and travel advisories, and additional information can be found in the WHO’s original health alert.
Actions to Take:
- NEW: Defer non-essential travel to Bata and the mainland region until MINSABS and the WHO have declared an end to the health crisis.
- Immediately report to a qualified medical professional if you experience fever, muscle soreness, weakness, abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, or hemorrhaging.
- Avoid contact with any individuals experiencing these symptoms.
- If you believe you have had contact with a confirmed or suspected case of Marburg Virus Disease but do not have any of the symptoms, contact a healthcare provider immediately. DO NOT travel to a healthcare facility unless advised to do so by a healthcare professional.
- Do not eat or handle bushmeat, especially monkeys and other primates. Avoid contact with animal cadavers for any reason.
- Avoid caves or other areas where fruit bat populations reside.
- Practice good hygiene, including regular hand washing.
- Avoid large gatherings.
- Do not attend wakes or funerals.
- If you reside in the Kie-Ntem province and/or are subject to the quarantine, alert the U.S. Embassy and follow instructions given by WHO and MINSABS officials.
- Do not attempt to cross Equatorial Guinea’s land borders with Cameroon or Gabon.
- Monitor news programs and websites to stay abreast of new health announcements from the government.
- Check your email regularly for additional updates from U.S. Embassy Malabo.
For Assistance and Information:
U.S. Embassy Malabo, Equatorial Guinea
+(240) 333-095-741 or +(240) 555-516-008 (after hours)
State Department – Consular Affairs
888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444
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