The World Health Organization (WHO) has said a widespread outbreak of the Ebola virus, which has killed thousands in the West African countries of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, will probably not be replicated in the U.S. or Europe thanks to the advanced health care systems in the West.
Christopher Dye, the director of strategy for the WHO, told the BBC that the potential spread of Ebola in the West was a matter “for very serious concern,” but added that an epidemic was improbable.
“We’re confident that in North America and Western Europe, where health systems are very strong, that we’re unlikely to see a major outbreak in any of those places,” Dye said.
The U.S., meanwhile, is dealing with its third Ebola case as Amber Vinson, a nurse who treated the country’s first patient who died earlier this month, was diagnosed with the disease.
It was revealed on Wednesday that Vinson was cleared to get on a plane by a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention official just a few days prior, despite having a mild temperature. Officials are attempting to track down and monitor her 131 fellow passengers.
U.S. President Barack Obama, who canceled two consecutive campaign events in order to take firmer action on Ebola, echoed the WHO view in a statement. “The dangers of a serious outbreak are extraordinarily low,” he said, “but we are taking this very seriously at the highest levels of government.”