Health Minister Rona Ambrose is urging Canadians in three countries in West Africa where the Ebola virus is raging to consider leaving now. 

The federal government issued a travel advisory Friday aimed at 216 Canadians who live in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.

"Today we are asking Canadians living in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia to consider leaving by commercial means while they are still available," Ambrose said in Edmonton Friday.

The World Health Organization says these countries face ongoing outbreaks of Ebola and more cases of the deadly disease can be expected.

Ambrose said any traveller returning from the three affected countries will have to be examined by a quarantine officer upon their arrival in Canada.

"If they are coming in from one of the affected countries, we would like them to answer specific questions and be referred to a quarantine officer for a health assessment, should it be needed," she said.

The Public Health Agency of Canada recommends that Canadians avoid all non-essential travel to these countries.

The agency warns the risk of infection is low for most travellers, but the risk may be increased for those who work in a health-care setting or for travellers who require medical care in affected areas.

The World Health Organization reports the Ebola outbreak has killed more than 4,000 people.

With files from CBC News