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An unprecedented outbreak of Ebola virus diseases (EVD) occurred in West Africa from March 2014 to January 2016. The French Institute for Public Health implemented strengthened surveillance to early identify any imported case and avoid secondary cases.
Febrile travellers returning from an affected country had to report to the national emergency healthcare hotline. Patients reporting at-risk exposures and fever during the 21st following day from the last at-risk exposure were defined as possible cases, hospitalised in isolation and tested by real-time polymerase chain reaction. Asymptomatic travellers reporting at-risk exposures were considered as contact and included in a follow-up protocol until the 21st day after the last at-risk exposure.
From March 2014 to January 2016, 1087 patients were notified: 1053 were immediately excluded because they did not match the notification criteria or did not have at-risk exposures; 34 possible cases were tested and excluded following a reliable negative result. Two confirmed cases diagnosed in West Africa were evacuated to France under stringent isolation conditions. Patients returning from Guinea (n = 531; 49%) and Mali (n = 113; 10%) accounted for the highest number of notifications.
No imported case of EVD was detected in France. We are confident that our surveillance system was able to classify patients properly during the outbreak period.
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