The Director of the CDC, Dr. Thomas Frieden, stated that there is “zero risk of transmission [of Ebola] on the flight.” You see, they screen people for fevers and if they have a temperature of 101.5 F or greater they are not allowed to fly.
As the article points out, people can take medications like ibuprofen to get their temperatures down so they can board the flight.
So suppose a person is three days post exposure (symptoms develop in 2-21 days) and he gets a high fever, is feeling sick to his stomach and weak. He takes ibuprofen and gets his temperature down enough to board the flight. On the way he gets sicker and vomits on the people next to him or he coughs right in their faces.
These folks get the body fluids (vomitus or airborne mucous from the cough) in their eyes or on a break in the skin and they have now been exposed to the virus (assuming the virus made the person sick in the first place).
They get home and 2-21 days later they develop symptoms.
Is this a likely scenario? Probably not but it can happen and that means the claim of zero chance is not credible.
Others in the article are taking issue with the claim and they point out that it might be possible to get Ebola in ways other than those commonly believed. They point to the possibility of mutated strains of the virus after it has passed through people and they claim to have seen these variants in non human primates.
So it might be unlikely that Ebola can be transmitted during a flight but the claim of “zero risk” is not credible. Low risk is not zero risk.
People are trying to get away and they are doing whatever they can to avoid detection or suspicion because they do not want to go to centers where people with the full blown disease are housed.
They would rather place everyone else at risk.
This is the same CDC that mistakenly shipped a dangerous strain of avian influenza to a poultry research lab, accidentally shipped live anthrax to two other labs and also shipped live botulism bacteria.
So safety might not be their forte. They might be pretty good at what they do but it appears as if they are trying to give an impression of safety about Ebola that is not exactly true.
My opinion is not that important but the opinions of the researchers cited in the article are…
Never surrender, never submit.
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