by Mayowa Aboah
Australia has warned its citizen against travelling to areas affected by Ebola in West Africa, after a Liberian national, infected by the deadly virus died in Nigeria.
In a statement issued by the country’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, citizens were warned to avoid direct contact with patients of unknown illness.
“Avoid contact with any objects that could have been contaminated with bodily fluids. Travellers should avoid contact with wild animals and should not eat or handle raw or undercooked animal products, such as blood and meat,” the statement stated in part.
The first live sample of Ebola arrived in Australia last September for the scientists to test.
There are fears an outbreak could spread worldwide and scientists in a high-security laboratory at CSIRO’s Australian Animal Health Laboratory in Geelong, Victoria, are working on ways to tame the highly infectious Ebola virus.
More than 1,000 people have been infected by the virus which kills 90 per cent of victims, and can go unnoticed for up to three weeks.
Ebola virus was first identified in Africa in 1976, but the death toll never exceeded 280 people.
Previous outbreaks of Ebola were confined to forests and rural areas, but this recent epidemic has already spread across four countries (Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria) in West Africa, killing 672.