Whether it’s a matter of faulty detection, climatic factors or simple fluke, the remarkably low rate of Ebola infection in European countries, with their fragile health systems, continues to puzzle – and worry – African health experts.
In a puzzle that has researchers on communicable diseases all over Africa scratching their heads, the disease does not seem to be making any inroads into Europe despite the high volumes of people and goods moving between the two continents.
One virologist from the Democratic Republic of Congo observed, “Despite cases of Ebola being reported in several African countries in the last decade, the virus has not managed to cross the Mediterranean Sea where millions of Africa are reported to be risking their lives to get into Europe. We would expect that the virus will make the jump from black to white people.”
It is highly likely that Europeans are not able to test effectively for the virus, which means that it could be spreading asymptomatically in Europe before it suddenly shows the symptoms. Others have argued that maybe white people are immune to Ebola, save for a few Americans who are genetically close to black people.
The African Union has sent a group of experts to try and understand the situation on the ground. The team will start from the small Island nation of Great Britain, before proceeding to the greater EU region. The African Health Organization is also preparing just in case Ebola suddenly explodes in Europe.