Risk of getting Ebola from air travel is low, says WHO

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Healthcare worker caring for an Ebola patient. (UNifeed video capture)

The risk of contracting Ebola from air travel is low, according to a senior official of the World Health Organization (WHO).

The disease, which is also known as the Ebola haemorrhagic fever kills up to 90 per cent of the people who are infected with the virus that causes it.

Dr. Isabelle Nuttal, Director of Global Capacities, Alert and Response at WHO briefed reporters in Geneva on Thursday on the Ebola outbreak that has killed over 1,000 people in West Africa.

"Air travel, even from Ebola affected countries, is low risk for Ebola transmission. Let me explain to you why. Unless infections like influenza and tuberculosis, Ebola is not airborne. The infection is passed on through direct contact with a sick person's body fluids such as blood, vomit, sweat and diarrhoea." (29")

Dr. Nuttal also pointed out that a person infected with Ebola is only contagious when he or she has the symptoms of the disease such as fever, vomiting or diarrhoea.

She said the person who recently flew from Monrovia, Liberia to Lagos, Nigeria, should never have gotten on the plane.

Derrick Mbatha, United Nations.

Duration:  1’32″


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