UN health agency says no Ebola detected in Iraq, calls reports of cases 'rumours'
6 January 2015 – Despite reports of Ebola cases in Mosul in several Iraqi media sources last week, the Iraqi Ministry of Health and the United Nations health agency have confirmed today that no cases of the disease have so far been found in the country.
As well as confirming that laboratory facilities in Mosul do not have the necessary capabilities to diagnose and confirm Ebola, the Health Ministry and the UN World Health Organization (WHO) investigated through "existing surveillance networks" and through contacts in local health authorities and hospitals in Mosul.
"All sources contacted have negated the existence of any suspected cases of Ebola," said the WHO in a statement today, which also described the media reports as "rumour."
"The Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization remain vigilant and have scaled up surveillance efforts to ensure early detection and safe management of any eventual suspected EVD cases in the country," the statement continued, stressing the precautionary measures being taken to ensure effective preventive programmes are in place.
The statement lists actions taken by the WHO and the Ministry of Health, including assessments of international entry points like airports and ports, strengthened surveillance at health facilities, and the development of a contingency and response plan.
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