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Ebola Poses Threat to Europe Until Epidemic Ends in West Africa: Public Health Agency

RIA Novosti

16:37 05/11/2014

BRUSSELS, November 5 (RIA Novosti) - The danger of new Ebola cases in Europe will remain until the epidemic comes to an end in West Africa, Marc Sprenger, Director of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), said Wednesday.

'The risk of seeing more Ebola cases in Europe will not go away until we stop the epidemic in West Africa… I agree with the Commission of the WHO [World Health Organization] about the urgent need for substantial international support to bring the epidemic under control,' Sprenger said at the hearings in the European Parliament.

Earlier on Wednesday, Sprenger noted that there have only been nine EU health workers infected with Ebola so far, eight of which came from abroad, and only one person was infected on European soil.

The Ebola virus is transmitted through direct contact with the bodily fluids of those infected. Though there is no officially approved medication for the disease, several countries are currently working on developing Ebola vaccines.

The current Ebola outbreak began in Guinea in February, and spread to Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Senegal, however, Senegal and Nigeria have recently been declared free of Ebola by the WHO. Several cases of the disease have also been registered outside of West Africa.

According to the WHO latest estimates, there have been a total of 13,567 reported Ebola cases, with nearly 5,000 having been killed by the virus. The majority of lethal cases have been concentrated in three western African countries: Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.

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