Thomas Eric Duncan, the first Ebola patient diagnosed in the U.S., was screened for the virus before departing Liberia for the United States on September 19, but he didn't show symptoms until he had been in Dallas for a few days.
He has flown from Liberia to Dallas/Fort Worth on a Brussels Airlines flight from Africa to Belgium before switching to a United Airlines itinerary that took him through Washington Dulles en route to his final destination. American Airlines CEO Doug Parker said that there's been "no impact on bookings" so far. American does not fly to any destinations in Africa, let alone to the hardest hit nations in West Africa. Nonetheless, Parker said American continues to monitor the situation.
On the other hand, U.S. government recommends that travelers avoid areas experiencing outbreaks and avoid contact with Ebola patients.
About 10 people are at "higher risk" of catching Ebola after coming into contact with Duncan but have shown no symptoms, health officials said Saturday.
“It's unlikely the virus would spread on an airplane unless a passenger were to come into contact with a sick person's bodily fluids”, said Dr. Marty Cetron, director of U.S. Centers for Disease Controls - CDC's Division of Global Migration and Quarantine.
In one CDC study, the Ebola virus lived in a perfectly controlled environment for up to six days. But the environment at an airport, for example, is not perfectly suited to support viruses.
It's unlikely the virus would spread on an airplane unless a passenger were to come into contact with a sick person's bodily fluids, said Dr. Marty Cetron, director of CDC's Division of Global Migration and Quarantine.
Source: CNN, USA Today