Ebola outbreak warning - could deadly virus reach the UK? Shock analysis reveals risk
Posted on 29/05/2018 by
THE EBOLA virus outbreak 2018 has killed 12 people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and health officials have urged the public to get vaccinated against the deadly disease. But, latest news reveals Europe could be at risk of the virus spreading from tourists and transport. Is the UK at risk of the Ebola virus?
Democratic Republic of Congo confirm Ebola outbreak
The Ebola virus has killed at least 12 people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) during the latest outbreak, it’s been confirmed.
DRC has now confirmed 35 cases of the virus, with an extra 17 suspected cases.
The latest figures came after the virus reached the city of Mbandaka earlier this month.
The city has a population of almost 1.2 million people, and serves as a “transportation hub”.
The virus started near the town of Bikoro in DRC, but where else should be prepared for an Ebola outbreak?
Ebola virus outbreak 2018: Deadly disease to reach UK? Shock analysis reveals Europe risk
Belgium and France could both be at risk of the Ebola virus, claimed non-profit organisation EcoHealth Alliance.
It used flight data from aeroplanes travelling to and from the three airports nearest to Bikoro - Mbandaka, Kinshasa, and Brazzaville - to reveal the most at-risk cities and countries.
Brussels was the fifth most at-risk city of infection, while Paris was seventh.
Pointe-Noire in neighbouring Republic of Congo had the highest risk of the virus.
Johannesburg and Nairobi also made the top 10 list.
Ebola virus outbreak 2018: Deadly disease to reach the UK? Shock analysis reveals Europe risk
The Ebola Crisis
The latest Ebola outbreak is one of the largest and deadliest in history and the first in West Africa. The World Health Organization have declared an international health emergency as more than 1,200 people have already died from the virus in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria this year.
“With approximately half a million passengers travelling from DRC each year, the disease requires just one infected traveller to cause a global public health emergency,” said EcoHealth Alliance’s President, Dr Peter Daszak.
“This helps us be forewarned and prepared.”
Cities most closely connected to the point of origin of the Ebola outbreak:
1. Pointe-Noire, Republic of Congo
2. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
3. Brazzaville, Republic of Congo
4. Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of Congo
5. Brussels, Belgium
6. Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo
7. Paris, France
8. Nairobi, Kenya
9. Johannesburg, South Africa
10. Kisangani, Democratic Republic of Congo
Countries most closely connected to the point of origin of the Ebola outbreak:
1. Democratic Republic of Congo
2. Republic of Congo
7. South Africa
10. Côte d’Ivoire
Ebola virus outbreak 2018: Health officials urge public to get vaccinated
The risk of an Ebola outbreak occurring in the UK remains negligible, according to the NHS.
But, if you do think you’ve become infected while travelling abroad, you should call NHS 111, or speak to your GP as soon as possible.
It’s extremely unlikely that you have Ebola, but your symptoms could be caused by another serious condition, including cholera or malaria.
Ebola symptoms can include a high fever, headache, sore throat and severe muscle weakness.
In its later stages, the virus can cause diarrhoea, vomiting, stomach pain, internal bleeding, and reduced kidney and liver function.