Johannesburg - There are no cases of Ebola in South Africa, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) said on Friday.

“We have no Ebola in the country,” NICD public health, surveillance, and response head Lucille Blumberg told reporters in Johannesburg.

“The chances of an outbreak (in South Africa) are very small."

 South Africa will not treat foreigners with the deadly virus, she added.

"If there is a confirmed diagnosis of a foreign national, they will not be allowed into the country  (to get treatment)," Blumberg said.

"If it is undiagnosed and the person does not know, they will be treated."

Blumberg said although the government had taken a stand on the treatment of foreigners, those infected would not generally have the means to come to South Africa and seek treatment.

Blumberg said it was important for people to know about the virus and for those infected to disclose their status to doctors. She said the virus was not easily transmitted and said those travelling to affected areas would not contract the virus.

"You need direct contact with an individual infected. You cannot  get it from the air," she said. 

The Associated Press reported that over 700 people had died of Ebola in west Africa, with the worst recorded outbreak in history centred in Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia. - Sapa