The CDC Just Raised Its Warning Level for U.S. Travel to Three African Countries

Tupungato / Shutterstock.com

The risk that the Ebola virus, which doctors can't treat or cure, could reach the United States from West Africa is small. But American officials are starting to think it's better to be safe than sorry.

On Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention raised its warning level for U.S. travel to the three African nations hit hardest by the worst Ebola outbreak in history: Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. The "Level 3" alert urges all U.S. residents to avoid nonessential travel to these countries because of the outbreak.

The CDC had previously issued a "Level 2" travel alert, which warns U.S. visitors traveling to Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone, and advises them to "practice enhanced precautions" and avoid contact with infected individuals. 

The virus has infected more than 1,300 people and killed more than more than 700 since February, according to the latest numbers from the World Health Organization. Between July 24 and July 27 alone, 57 deaths were reported.

On Monday, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki declined to say whether her department was considering travel restrictions in response to the outbreak. "In terms of what we're considering, I don't have anything to predict," she said. "We're taking every precaution, of course."

No case of Ebola has never been reported on U.S. soil. But the recent death of Patrick Sawyer from the disease appears to have hit close to home. Sawyer, a naturalized U.S. citizen, collapsed in a Nigerian airport after departing Liberia, marking the first time in history that the Ebola virus traveled from one country to another by plane. Had Sawyer's symptoms taken longer to manifest, he would have made it to his final destination: Minnesota.

(Image via Tupungato / Shutterstock.com)

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    Download
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    Download
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    Download
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    Download
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.