The European Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released a new rapid risk assessment concerning the Ebola virus disease outbreak in West Africa, which serves to reassess the chance of importing Ebola to the European Union.
It also assesses the chance of onward transmission after the outbreak declines, as has been seen in Sierra Leone and Guinea. Lastly, the assessment discusses the chances of the complications that occurred in a U.K. patient who had unusual late Ebola infection complications.
U.K. health professionals first confirmed the unusual late complication involving an Ebola survivor in October. The infected nurse was diagnosed with Ebola in December 2014. She had traveled to Glasgow from Sierra Leone.
In January, she was declared free of the virus. But after eight months of being in recovery, the viral RNA has reappeared in her system. Studies are ongoing, and she is considered to have a low chance of transmitting the virus to anyone else because of various preventive measures as well as the ongoing monitoring of her close contacts.
The risk of importing Ebola to the E.U. has fallen to a very low level, and chances of further spreading the virus inside the E.U. continues to be low.
Since Ebola has re-emerged in West Africa, scientists now know that Ebola can be transmitted through infected bodily fluids during sexual intercourse, even if the partner is a recovered patient. Unrecognized or asymptomatic Ebola cases can be spread when Ebola is reintroduced into a host.