World Health Organization officials said they haven’t confirmed the cases, but the organization has reached out to offer assistance. It’s unclear if any disease experts or doctors in Mosul are even able to test for the Ebola virus. A Kurdish official, who was convinced the cases are Ebola, told the Kurdish media outlet Xendan that the militants’ symptoms were similar to those of the Ebola virus.
Reports that Islamic State militants in Mosul have contracted Ebola swirled though Iraqi media sources on Wednesday. World Health Organization officials said they haven’t confirmed the cases, but the organization has reached out to offer assistance.
Feig added that WHO is in the process of reaching out to government officials in Iraq to see if they need help investigating the cases, a task that could be a challenge, given the restrictions that would come with operating in ISIS-controlled territory.
However, Ebola symptoms — nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, bleeding and bruising — are also similar to those associated with a number of other diseases, including malaria, Lassa fever, yellow fever viruses and the Marburg virus. Also, most confirmed Ebola cases in this recent outbreak have originated in West Africa.
The majority of the Islamic State’s African fighters came from Tunisia, according to a Washington Post report. Others came from Morocco, Libya, Egypt, Algeria, Sudan and Somalia — none of which reported any Ebola cases in 2014.
Over the past few weeks, militants affiliated with ISIS have executed more than a dozen doctors in Mosul, according to Benjamin T. Decker, an intelligence analyst with the Levantine Group, a Middle East-based geopolitical risk and research consultancy. Read more…