The World Health Organisation (WHO) is asking countries that have been hit by the Ebola outbreak to screen all passengers traveling outside their borders from airports, seaports and land crossings, in a bid to stop the spread of the deadly virus.
WHO did not specify which countries have to adhere to its’ advisory warning, but the international health organisation has noted Ebola outbreaks in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and parts of Nigeria. However, WHO maintains that countries need to strengthen their defences against Ebola without imposing unnecessary restrictions or disruptions to international passenger movements.
On the other hand, WHO also advises that anyone who had come into consistent, close contact with Ebola sufferers to limit their travels. Travelers are also asked to consistently maintain their hygiene by washing their hands and avoiding direct contact with the bodily fluids of infected individuals.
A number of countries have banned direct flights to countries which had been hit by the Ebola epidemic. British Airways, Kenya Airways, and a number of other regional operators have cancelled flights to Sierra Leone’s and Liberia’s capital, despite the fact that the risk of catching the Ebola virus from air is very low – as it is not an airborne virus, like Influenza or Tuberculosis.
“Transmission requires direct contact with infected blood, secretions, organs and/or other bodily fluids of Ebola patients, infected corpses and animals – all unlikely exposures for the average traveller,” said a statement by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the United Nations (UN) civil aviation arm on Tuesday, August 19, 2014.