Travelers who are concerned that simply being on a plane or cruise ship with someone who has been exposed to the Ebola virus could lead to infection should be reassured by Dr. Sanjay Gupta, chief medical correspondent for CNN, who reports that, Ebola is not highly contagious; and, the virus does not travel through the air. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirms that the Ebola virus spreads only through contact with blood or other body fluids from an infected person who is actively displaying the symptoms of the disease.
Ebola virus disease is a certainly a serious health concern, especially in West Africa, where the largest outbreak ever continues to claim victims. In an abundance of caution, the travel industry is taking steps to further reduce the extremely low risk of contracting Ebola from a fellow traveler.
For example, the Cruise Lines International Association worked with public health authorities to develop guidelines for its member cruise lines. These include denial of boarding to anyone:
- Arriving from a country with a Level 3 health warning (at this writing, this includes Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea).
- Who traveled to, in or through those countries within 21 days before embarkation.
- Who had physical contract with or helped care for a person with Ebola virus disease within 21 days before embarkation.
The CDC and the Department of Homeland Security have also implemented enhanced screening at the five U.S. airports that receive more than 94% of travelers from West Africa.
Cruise Holidays’ travel experts can provide the latest Ebola outbreak information to help clients make informed decisions about travel to Africa. Much of this vast continent lies far from the outbreak. For example, the safari parks of South Africa are roughly 6,000 miles from Ebola’s epicenter in West Africa – a bit more than the distance between Los Angeles and Madrid, Spain.
If you’ll be traveling in the near future and are concerned about Ebola, talk with Anita, your Cruise Holidays travel expert, about purchasing travel insurance, which can offer an additional layer of protection and assistance in any type of medical or travel emergency. Your travel expert will also be available to you during your trip and can make alternate travel arrangements as needed; that’s good for your peace of mind!
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