One question frequently asked nowadays is, “Can I get Ebola on a plane?” With the health scare just about taking over the United States at this point, many travelers are left wondering if they could contract the deadly disease the next time they step on to an aircraft. According to CNN, the chances of someone getting Ebola — even if someone diagnosed with Ebola is sitting right next to them on the flight — is pretty low.
Dr. Suzanne Donovan, an infectious disease physician, is an expert on Ebola who has treated at least one Ebola victim. In a recent interview with CNN correspondent Dan Simon, Dr. Donovan explained that flying is safe, despite the Ebola scare that is sweeping the nation.
Contracting Ebola on a plane is actually quite difficult, according to Dr. Donovan. Since the disease is transmitted by the exchange of bodily fluids, the scenario for passenger to passenger exposure has to be pretty darn precise.
“I can understand passengers’ concern about being exposed but this is something that’s transmitted with direct contact of body fluids,” said Dr. Donovan.
“If saliva or bodily fluid gets either on the tray or arm rest and you touch it and then you touch your nose, you touch your mouth…” posed Simon.
“And you are bringing a very rare scenario. So now, it say you’re at greater risk of driving to the airport and getting in a car accident than being infected with Ebola by being on an airplane,” Dr. Donovan responded.
Although passengers on board flights with Ebola “scares” have been screened, this is just precautionary as the country learns more about this disease and how it’s transmitted. According to BBC News, the CDC has even confirmed that being near someone who has Ebola wouldn’t necessarily mean that you’re doomed.
“Any [passengers] around that individual on the plane would have been extremely low,” the CDC has confirmed.
Transmission of Ebola on a plane would be far more serious if the disease was airborne, like the flu, for example. An earlier report by The Inquisitr, does seem to suggest that Ebola could potentially be airborne, but nothing proves this theory just yet. If Ebola does become airborne, traveling on airplanes (and on trains or on cruise ships) will become something far more dangerous. For now, however, just buckle up on your way to the airport… and have a safe flight!
[Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons]