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Russia Warns of Ebola Outbreak to Citizens Traveling to West Africa

Medical staff working with Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF) prepare to bring food to patients kept in an isolation area at the MSF Ebola treatment centre in Kailahun, Sierra Leone.

The Russian government has issued a warning to citizens traveling to West Africa that they should seek medical help immediately if they fall ill, as the region undergoes the largest recorded Ebola outbreak.

More than 670 people in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone have died from the virus in recent months, and the fact that one of the victims traveled on an international flight has stoked fears that the virus could spread outside Africa.

A Russian health watchdog said in a statement Monday that the World Health Organization had not recommended any restrictions on travel to West Africa, but Russians who go there should "seek medical help immediately in case of the appearance of symptoms."

Ebola, for which there is no cure or vaccine, causes fever, headache, diarrhea and bleeding from various orifices of the body such as the mouth or eyes. The disease kills about 90 percent of those infected.

The current outbreak was first reported in Guinea early this year and then spread to neighboring countries, infecting more than 1,200 people and killing more than 670 so far.

Fears have soared after an infected man appeared to have traveled on an international flight, collapsing with the disease at the Lagos airport in Nigeria on July 20 after arriving from Liberia with a layover in Togo.

The man, Liberian finance ministry consultant Patrick Sawyer, died in a hospital last week, prompting local authorities to quarantine the hospital and monitor dozens of people who had been in contact with him, Reuters reported.

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