On 6 October, Spanish authorities confirmed infection with Ebola virus disease (EVD) in a healthcare worker who participated in the treatment of the second Spanish Ebola patient who was repatriated to Spain. The infected healthcare worker represents the first transmission of Ebola infection in the European Union.
“It is our mandate to re-assess the risk to the EU”, says ECDC Director Marc Sprenger, “and we are confident that infection control protocols in Europe are of high standard and remain appropriate if strictly adhered to. But there is no such thing as a zero per cent risk of infection. It is important to understand that the risk of Ebola to Europe can only be eliminated by stopping the outbreak in West Africa.”
Two ECDC experts are currently in Madrid to support the local authorities in their investigations of the mechanism through which the nurse has been infected. Once this information is available, ECDC will consider the possible implications on the transmission risk to Europe in its updated risk assessment.