EU ready for Ebola threat: sources

The European Union is equipped and ready to treat victims should the deadly Ebola virus, which has killed hundreds in West Africa, be found in member states, EU sources said Wednesday.

"We cannot rule out the possibility that an infected person arrives in Europe but the EU has the means to track and contain any outbreak rapidly," one EU source said.

"A suspected case was reported in Valencia in Spain, but it turned out to be negative," the source said. "The system worked. The patient was isolated and tests were carried out quickly."

The EU has a medical alert system to pick up any serious disease outbreak and all member states have the specialised hospitals and treatment regimes to cope, the source added.

The source said a key problem was to prepare countries bordering Ebola-hit Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, such as Ivory Coast "and even countries further afield."

"There are an increasing number of cases now in the capital cities. The disease has an incubation period of 21 days and people do travel a lot," the source added.

"And it's becoming harder and harder to find local personnel to look after the sick in the countries affected."

The EU announced earlier it had allocated an extra two million euros ($2.7 million) to fight the Ebola outbreak spiralling out of control in West Africa, bringing total EU funding to 3.9 million euros.

"The level of contamination on the ground is extremely worrying and we need to scale up our action before many more lives are lost," EU' Humanitarian Aid Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva said.

The EU has deployed experts on the ground to help victims and try to prevent contagion but Georgieva called for a "sustained effort from the international community to help West Africa deal with this menace".

To date the epidemic has caused 670 deaths and 1,200 cases in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, among the world's poorest countries, with one case confirmed in Nigeria.

The World Health Organization says this is the largest recorded outbreak in terms of cases, deaths and geographical coverage.

The EU said the risk of the virus spreading to Europe was currently low, since most cases are in remote areas in the affected countries and those who are ill or in contact with the disease are encouraged to remain isolated.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Ebola cases rise in Africa as doctors sound alarm

Jun 23, 2014

The international medical organization Doctors Without Borders sounded the alarm Monday over the outbreak of the Ebola disease in West Africa as some 20 new deaths have been reported.

Recommended for you

Liberia holds Senate vote amid Ebola fears

26 minutes ago

Health workers manned polling stations across Liberia on Saturday as voters cast their ballots in a twice-delayed Senate vote that has been criticized for its potential to spread the deadly Ebola disease.

Evidence-based recs issued for systemic care in psoriasis

20 hours ago

(HealthDay)—For appropriately selected patients with psoriasis, combining biologics with other systemic treatments, including phototherapy, oral medications, or other biologic, may result in greater efficacy ...

Bacteria in caramel apples kills at least four in US

20 hours ago

A listeria outbreak believed to originate from commercially packaged caramel apples has killed at least four people in the United States and sickened 28 people since November, officials said Friday.

Steroid-based treatment may answer needs of pediatric EoE patients

21 hours ago

A new formulation of oral budesonide suspension, a steroid-based treatment, is safe and effective in treating pediatric patients with eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE), according to a new study in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, the official clinical practice journal ...

Discovery of genes that predispose a severe form of COPD

23 hours ago

A study by Ramcés Falfán-Valencia, researcher at the National Institute of Respiratory Diseases (INER), found that the mestizo Mexican population has a number of variations in certain genes that predispose ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.