The health, safety and security of Volunteers are Peace Corps' top priorities. In July, the Peace Corps announced the temporary removal of Volunteers from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea due to the increasing spread of the Ebola virus, and in October, officially suspended these programs. While there have been isolated cases in other areas of Africa, the Ebola outbreak and the removal of Volunteers has been limited to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. The Peace Corps will continue to closely monitor the situation in collaboration with leading experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the U.S. Department of State.
Out of an abundance of caution, Volunteers were medically assessed by Peace Corps' Medical Officers prior to their departure. Upon return to the United States, the Peace Corps advised Volunteers to monitor their health and any potential symptoms, including checking their temperature twice a day based on CDC guidelines. Peace Corps Medical Officers proactively reached out to returning Volunteers to monitor their condition and are on call to assist volunteers as needed.
Peace Corps' Office of Health Services in Washington, D.C. has provided guidance to all Peace Corps posts in Africa on the Ebola virus to ensure Volunteers and staff take the utmost precautions to protect their health, including instructions to:
- Contact their Peace Corps Medical Officer immediately if they become ill, and to follow the PCMO's instructions for further evaluation or treatment.
- Avoid direct contact with any individual with an unexplained feverish illness.
- Exercise appropriate hand hygiene.
- Avoid eating bush meat.
- Contact their Peace Corps Medical Officer if they feel unsafe at their site.
To learn more about the Ebola Virus please see the CDC's guidance to U.S. citizens.
For up to date information,visit the following websites:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Outbreak of Ebola in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone
- Questions and Answers on Ebola
- Facts about Ebola (PDF)
World Health Organization
Read the press release:
Last updated Oct 08 2014
855.855.1961, ext. 1470
This line is staffed by the Peace Corps Counseling and Outreach Unit (COU) and they can:
- notify a Volunteer of an emergency (e.g. critical illness or death of a family member)
- respond to family questions about a Volunteer's status
- supply an update about civil unrest or a natural disaster in the host country
USAID and NGO's efforts to contain Ebola.