MOSCOW, August 5 (RIA Novosti) - If flights from the countries affected by the Ebola virus are not halted, the disease could reach Europe and become a new plague, Alexei Pushkov, the head of the State Duma international affairs committee, said Tuesday.
“Unless all flights are stopped from Ebola affected countries, there is a risk it will reach Europe, becoming the plague of the 21st century,” Pushkov said on Twitter.
The virus is currently raging on in West Africa following its outbreak in February. According to the World Health Organization, the virus has killed 887 people so far, making it the largest Ebola epidemic in history.
Ebola concerns are spreading across the world. The US Peace Corps announced the withdrawal of its volunteers from Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea over fears of the virus spreading. The United Kingdom has expressed concern that Ebola may pose a major threat to the country, and urged healthcare professionals and border staff to be vigilant in their search for potential signs of the virus.
Anna Popova, the head of the Russian Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing (Rospotrebnadzor), however, said there is no reason for Russia to fear the spreading of the virus, as no threat of the virus has been detected so far. Airports exercise extra care on flights from the virus-stricken regions.
Ebola first appeared in 1976 in Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The virus is transmitted via direct contact with the blood or bodily fluids of the diseased.