National Assembly member Patrick Balkany claims that the Ebola virus has hit France, but his comments were quickly denied by the country’s health authorities.
“According to reliable medical sources, several cases have been reported in the French territory,” Balkany stated on his website, adding, “It did not fall from the sky….but given the medical secret, I can not reveal my source.”
Sylvain Baize, Director of the National Reference Center (NRC), repudiated the claim, stating in an email, “I can tell you that so far there are no confirmed cases of infection with Ebola virus in France.”
Balkany said the arrival of Ebola constituted an “emergency alert” and vowed to uncover more information on precisely where the cases were located by sending an official letter to French Minister of Health Marisol Touraine.
If the Ebola virus were to arrive in Europe, France would be one of the likeliest destinations given the country’s large number of immigrants from African countries. Nearly 43 per cent of all immigrants in France have African origins, increasing the chances of immigrants or their family members traveling back and forth from Ebola-stricken countries.