Threat of Ebola spreading in Russia low, says minister

Russian Health Minister Veronica Skvortsova has virtually ruled out the threat of Ebola spreading in Russia.

IANS| Last Updated: Dec 05, 2014, 05:38 AM IST

Moscow: Russian Health Minister Veronica Skvortsova has virtually ruled out the threat of Ebola spreading in Russia.

The upcoming New Year holidays do not increase the risk of the Ebola virus spreading in Russia, Skvortsova said Thursday, Xinhua reported.

Possible cases when the deadly virus is brought to Europe could be counted on fingers, Skvortsova said, adding that the danger of the viral infection in Russia was very low, "as it has always been."

All measures to prevent the disease from spreading in Russia have already been taken, the minister assured.

Four vaccines against the Ebola virus are currently being developed by Russian scientists. While one of them is in the clinical test stage, the rest are expected to be clinically tested in Feb 2015, Skvortsova said, according to the RIA Novosti news agency, which the Xinhua report cited.

In October, Russian authorities installed special detectors in the country`s airports to monitor suspected Ebola cases.

The Ebola disease, formerly known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever, is a severe, often fatal illness in humans. It is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in humans through direct contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), nearly 7, 000 people have died of the disease, mainly in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia.