On May 12th 2015, The World Health Organization (WHO) received notification of a laboratory-confirmed case of the Ebola virus disease in Italy.
The nurse had worked with an Italian aid group in Sierra Leone, one of the West African countries hit by the outbreak last year. He started showing the first symptoms two days after his return last Sunday to his home in Sassari, Sardinia. He immediately isolated himself in his room and was safely transferred to the local hospital’s infectious diseases ward, and then to Rome in a specially equipped Italian Air Force aircraft.
The worker was volunteering in an Ebola treatment center in Sierra Leone, and on May 7, the volunteer flew from Freetown, Sierra Leone to Rome, stopping in Casablanca, Morocco. The patient had no symptoms at that time. It wasn’t until May 10, when the patient was already in Italy, that they began to experience symptoms of the virus. Since the onset of symptoms occurred 72 hours after the last flight, contact tracing of the passengers of the flights is not considered necessary. Healthcare workers of the Hospital in Sassari, who examined the patient, were well equipped with personal protective equipment and are now under surveillance, as well as the close contacts of the case.
More than 26,720 cases of Ebola have been reported in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea since the start of the outbreak, and more than 11,000 people have died.