Ebola Virus - Ten ways to avoid Ebola while travelling
Erbilia Online Magazine - Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq

10 Ways to Avoid Ebola

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Avoid Ebola When Traveling

10 things to do while traveling

The increasing number of Ebola cases in several African countries has caused a lot of concern all over the world as there are no borders that can keep the virus away from other countries, not only in Africa, but also across the globe.

The first Ebola incidents occurred in Sudan and Zaire in the summer of 1976 and the deadly virus was named after the Ebola River in Zaire. The second outbreak also occurred in Zaire in 1995, while several other outbreaks took place in Africa between 1995 and 2012 involving some different strains of the virus.

The virus has a high death risk that ranges between 25% and 90%, but in the recent 2014 outbreak in the western African countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone death risk was under 40%. As of the end of October 2014, there were about 13,000 suspected cases, while about 5,000 deaths were reported.

Protect Yourself from Ebola While Traveling

Fears of the epidemic spreading to the USA, Europe, Asia and Australia have raised serious concerns all over the world. Despite the fact that the virus is not airborne and is spread mainly by contact with body fluids of infected people, air travel to and from African countries, where there is an outbreak, can spread the disease worldwide.

So, what can you do to protect yourself from the deadly virus?

Don’t travel to West African countries if it is not absolutely necessary, but if you really have to go, then the following preventive measures may protect you against the virus:

  1. Ask for a window seat – Sitting by the window, will limit your contact with other passengers. An aisle seat is the worst choice as people come and go next to you. But even if you have an aisle seat, remember that you can’t get Ebola by casual contact with anyone.
  2. Have a surgical mask with you – Keep an eye on the people who are sitting next to you and if someone starts coughing, sneezing or vomiting, don’t hesitate to put your mask on.
  3. Have some disposal rubber gloves at hand – Put them on before you go to the toilet and before leaving the toilet wash your hands thoroughly while wearing the gloves and then you can dispose of them. Of course, you may decide to wear rubber gloves throughout the flight.
  4. Have a hand sanitizer with you – Get one that contains alcohol and use it to clean your hands before eating anything on the plane.
  5. Don’t touch your face – Even if you have used a hand sanitizer, avoid touching your face (nose, mouth, eyes) if it’s not necessary.
  6. Get a pack of disinfecting wipes in your bag – These will prove valuable to clean the tray table before you put anything on it.
  7. Avoid sharing things – During your flight don’t share snacks, magazines or newspapers with people sitting next to you.
  8. Don’t touch your food with your hands – Always use a fork to eat your meal and hold bread and snacks from the side of their plastic wrapper.
  9. Ask for a seat change – If you are sitting next to someone who is coughing or sneezing all the time, ask the flight attendant if it is possible change your seat. If this is not possible, put on your mask and try to keep your face away from him/her.
  10. Relax – Don’t be too obsessed with Ebola. You have taken all the necessary precautions and chances are that you will remain 100% healthy after your flight.

Erbilia Online Magazine will keep updating you about the dangers of Ebola, and wherever you may travel, we wish you safe travels.