Ivory Coast Closes Borders With Liberia, Guinea on Ebola Fears

Aug 23, 2014 9:30 am ET

Aug. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Ivory Coast closed off its borders with Liberia and Guinea to prevent the spread of the Ebola virus into the West African nation that’s the world’s biggest cocoa producer.

The countries western land borders with the two countries were shut yesterday, Prime Minister Daniel Kablan Duncan said in a statement read on state-owned Radiodiffusion Television Ivoirienne.

“Faced with the appearance of new outbreak sites and the reactivation of old sites in the infected countries bordering Ivory Coast, the Ivorian government has decided to close its land borders with the sister republics,” he said in the statement.

Ivory Coast, which has reported no incidents of the hemorrhagic fever that had killed 1,427 people as of Aug. 20, is the latest country to close its borders with Guinea after Senegal did so yesterday. South Africa on Aug. 21 imposed a travel ban on all non-citizens traveling from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

The disease can only be caught through direct contact with body fluids, with most transmission coming via care of the sick or in funeral preparation and burial ceremonies, according to the World Health Organization.