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Ebola: Risks of overland spread

West Africa’s road network – through which the majority of intra-regional trade occurs – could facilitate the spread of Ebola. Travellers and traders infected in Guinea, Liberia or Sierra Leone may transmit the virus via some of the major highways. In this respect, groups such as long-distance lorry drivers could be particularly at risk, particularly if effective monitoring systems for Ebola are not established at border crossings.

However, the poor state of road connectivity in West Africa may hamper the spread of the disease. Travel restrictions have been imposed by many of the countries bordering Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, further mitigating risks. Nevertheless, the land border between Guinea and Mali remains open and the porosity of borders in the regions makes it difficult for other crossings to be sealed effectively.