The World Health Organization (WHO) has advised that while no country can be considered 100 per cent free of the risk of importation of a potential Ebola virus disease case, the risk is lower in some regions than others.
Last month, the current Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) was declared a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) under the International Health Regulations (IHR) (2005). Since the outbreak was first declared last year, and as of 19 August, 2,909 cases of Ebola have been identified, with 1,953 deaths and 875 survivors. The WHO noted healthcare workers have frequently been infected while treating patients with suspected or confirmed Ebola.
The WHO says the risk of spread remains very high in the DRC and the WHO African Region, but the current assessment finds the overall risk in the European Region to be low.
It highlights how a number of countries in the European Region have undertaken additional Ebola preparedness actions. “Intensified operational readiness and preparedness activities are also ongoing in a number of countries neighbouring the Democratic Republic of the Congo, further decreasing the risk for onward travel of an infected person to Europe,” it added.