Amid Spread of Ebola, Israel to Tighten Border Control and Issue Travel Advisory

Netanyahu holds meeting to discuss measures to protect Israeli citizens from the epidemic in West Africa.

Barak Ravid
JTA
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Health workers wearing protective gear go to remove the body of a person who is believed to have died after contracting the Ebola virus in the city of Monrovia, Liberia.
Health workers wearing protective gear go to remove the body of a person who is believed to have died after contracting the Ebola virus in the city of Monrovia, Liberia. Credit: AP
Barak Ravid
JTA

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened a meeting Monday to discuss the danger posed by the Ebola outbreak.

In the meeting several measures were decided upon, including the tightening the control on the entrance of people who visited Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone. In addition, the Israeli Foreign Ministry will issue an advisory to Israelis over travel to these countries.

While attempting to allay public fears over the spread of Ebola, the health establishment is preparing for the scenario of the discovery of Ebola cases in Israel. "The likelihood of Ebola spreading to Israel is small, because only few Israelis go to these areas," said Prof. Itamar Grotto, head of the public health services department in the Health Ministry, last month.

"We're following events, we get updates from the World Health Organization and are preparing for every scenario," he added.

In August, after Health Ministry debates over the issue, it was decided that Israelis returning from Lagos, the capital of Nigeria, who stayed in a hospital there or were in contact with a sick person and who developed a fever after returning to Israel will also be defined as "suspected cases."

It was also recommended that Israelis in Nigeria avoid visiting a hospital in Lagos if at all possible.

The Health Ministry also recommended Israelis not to visit Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Those who do, are advised to avoid sick people, animals, eating meat and visiting hospitals. Those who return from these countries are required to go to an emergency room only if they develop a fever within 21 days of their return.

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