A British scientist who recently returned from Sierra Leone says it’s a matter of time before the Ebola epidemic spreads to Europe, where it is known to be transmitted via direct contact.
Professor Mark Mazzetti, who has been working in Sierra Leone since last summer, told the BBC’s Andrew Marr show that a few days before the first cases of Ebola were recorded in Guinea, Spain, Belgium and France, there were “tens of thousands” of people travelling between the two countries.
“There is a very low probability of Ebola in those countries because of the isolation and the isolation measures,” he said.
In Sierra Leone, the first case of Ebola was recorded in a hospital in March, with the WHO warning of an imminent rise in cases.”
It is in Europe that the Ebola is likely to be the biggest threat.”
In Sierra Leone, the first case of Ebola was recorded in a hospital in March, with the WHO warning of an imminent rise in cases.
Mr Mazzett also told the programme that there is no evidence of direct contact between those in the UK and those in Guinea.
“It is a big challenge for us,” he added.
“So we need to be prepared for it.”
It was announced this week that the UK will be joining a European Union effort to curb the spread of Ebola.
According to the European Commission, a single country can become the European Ebola Centre if it has the resources to stop Ebola in its own territory.
A total of 1,946 people have died of the disease since March, and there have been more than 2,100 cases in Guinea alone.
The UK, which has a population of more than half a million, has pledged to send at least 50 staff to Sierra Leone to help deal with the spread.
It’s not just the UK’s borders that are under threat from Ebola.
On Monday, a group of German tourists travelling on a ferry from Frankfurt to Copenhagen also arrived at a port in Sweden with the virus still circulating.
In an email to Reuters, the ferry company said that a virus case had been confirmed in one of the crew members.