Increased testing for Ebola Virus Disease to be expected

ECDC comment

​Over the past few days a number of suspected Ebola Virus Disease cases have been reported outside the currently affected countries in West Africa.

​Over the past few days a number of suspected Ebola Virus Disease cases have been reported outside the currently affected countries in West Africa. Suspected cases in Germany, Spain and the UK have, understandably, attracted high levels of media attention and activity on social media. All suspected cases outside of Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone have tested negative for Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).

ECDC considers that the rapid identification and testing of possible cases is testimony to the high levels of vigilance and preparedness in Europe. The unspecific early clinical symptoms - sudden onset of fever, malaise (weakness), muscle and joint pains and headache - coupled with the possibly broad epidemiological criteria of travel history to Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria, lead to an increase in investigations of suspected cases of EVD. The vast majority of these will turn out not to be EVD, although they may be other serious diseases such as malaria. Healthcare providers should be aware of the possibility of EVD among returning travellers from affected areas.

The risk of importation to the EU is considered to remain very low, in particular if returning travellers and healthcare providers are properly informed and aware of the risk.

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Ebola health topic pageRapid risk assessment – Outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease in West Africa, 4 August 2014