Low risk of Ebola transmission in air travel: WHO
Posted on Aug 15 2014 | IANS
Geneva, Aug 15 : The World Health Organisation (WHO) reiterated Thursday that the risk of transmission of Ebola virus during air travel remains low.
"Unlike infections such as influenza or tuberculosis, Ebola is not airborne," Xinhua quoted Isabelle Nuttall, Director of WHO Global Capacity Alert and Response, as saying.
Nuttall noted the deadly viruses can only be transmitted by direct contact with the body fluids of a person who is sick with the disease.
She said while there is just a small chance that someone on the plane is sick with Ebola, the likelihood of other passengers and crew having contact with their body fluids is even smaller.
"Because the risk of Ebola transmission on airplanes is so low, WHO does not consider air transport hubs at high risk for further spread of Ebola," Nuttall said.
On Aug 8, WHO declared that the Ebola outbreak raging in West Africa constitutes an international public health emergency and provided advice to countries to help contain the current Ebola outbreak.
As Aug 11, the cumulative number of cases attributed to Ebola virus disease in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone stands at 1,975, including 1,069 deaths.