Let’s Avoid Ebola Paranoia and Stop All These Airplane Quarantines with Some Handy Tips

Environment, Safety/Security

Had I said to you a month ago that your flight was quarantined because of an Ebola scare, you would have laughed out loud (unless, of course, you’re from Western Africa). But today, that’s the reality. We’re seeing a level of paranoia that is completely unwarranted, and I’m afraid it’s only going to get worse. So, how about we dispel some of these myths? I’ve put together some incredibly useful tips to help.

Ebola Airplane

Yes, there are a couple of cases of Ebola in the US, but in its current state, it’s just really hard to catch the disease. That hasn’t prevented people from freaking out, of course. We can thank the media for that panic with a frenzied level of coverage. On Friday, Delta had a flight quarantined in Vegas. It was United’s turn on Sunday in LA. And you know we’re just going to see more of these.

I’m not a doctor, but I can read. And I know that the Center for Disease Control and the World Health Organization both have websites. That’s enough to qualify me as being able to understand the basics of how this thing works. (You can too unless, of course, you’re a conspiracy theorist who doesn’t believe anything. In that case, enjoy your underground bunker.)

One of the problems with Ebola is that the symptoms start out just like a flu. So as we move into flu season, half the US is going to decide it has contracted Ebola. Airline planners – you might want to start padding your schedules to account for the inevitable quarantines on every other flight. This is not going to work out well unless people take a deep breath and get educated.

Ebola is one nasty disease, and this outbreak seems to kill about half those who get infected (that’s not too bad as far as Ebola outbreaks go). But as nasty as the disease is, it’s not easy to transmit. Unlike the flu, Ebola requires direct contact for transmission. Just sitting on an airplane isn’t going to get you infected in normal circumstances. To make sure you don’t do anything stupid, here are some handy tips.

  • Do not have sex with anyone on an airplane (especially if your partner is feverish and dying). Oh what the heck, don’t make out with strangers either since, unlike with HIV, Ebola can be transmitted through saliva.
  • If you see someone sweating, and this is important, do NOT drink the sweat. Also, don’t rub the sweat into any open cuts on your body. Just touching it to your finger won’t transmit it (unless you’re an idiot and then put your finger in your mouth), but it can get you through open cuts.
  • If someone appears to be exhibiting flu-like symptoms, ask them this question. “Say, do you happen to have been to Liberia, Guinea, or Sierra Leone in the last 21 days?” If they say no, then follow up with this. “Are you a healthcare worker who helps treat Ebola patients?” If not, then you’re in the clear.
  • If your fellow passenger sneezes, it’s probably best if you don’t try to catch the discharge with your mouth or anything you plan on putting in your mouth. If you do get sneezed on, I’m going to suggest doing something crazy. Wash your hands. (But first, feel free to yell at the jerk for not covering his nose and mouth.)
  • If someone doesn’t look sick but is running up and down the aisles saying they have Ebola, you should just punch them in the face. (Or, you know, maybe just wait for someone else to arrest them.) If they do not have symptoms, they can’t transmit the disease.

The important thing to remember is that it’s not transmitted by air, water, or casual contact. When the disease mutates to allow for that, Dustin Hoffman will be there to save the world (or just a picturesque Northern California town). But until that point, your chances of contracting this disease in the US are incredibly tiny.

Many have compared this to HIV as a possible global pandemic, but there is one incredibly important difference between HIV and Ebola. HIV can take years to incubate. People may not have any symptoms but they can spread it for a really long time. Ebola, on the other hand, incubates quickly. Someone who gets it will show symptoms within 21 days from the time of infection. And only when those symptoms show themselves does the person become infectious.

Oh sure, it’s probably just a matter of time until another nasty Spanish flu-style pandemic sweeps the world, but it seems highly unlikely that this particular disease will be it… at least in its current form.

[Original airplane photo via ChameleonsEye / Shutterstock.com]

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68 comments on “Let’s Avoid Ebola Paranoia and Stop All These Airplane Quarantines with Some Handy Tips

  1. You write a lot of great stuff Cranky, but this is probably one of your funniest posts yet. I shouldn’t laugh about something as serious as Ebola, but it was impossible not to while reading this. And I love your 5th point. If I ever feel the need to punch out a fellow passenger, I am going to refer back to this post and give myself the all clear!

  2. Some basic instruction in African geography may be necessary also. The disease is raging in three small countries in West Africa–Liberia, Sierra Leone, & Guinea. The countries are south of Senegal and west of Ivory Coast and Ghana. There are NO direct flights from those countries to the US. Delta ended their flight from Liberia in August. The only connecting flights from Liberia (the country most affected and with US ties) come into JFK, EWR, ORD, & IAD (Thomas Duncan entered the US through IAD on his way to DFW). There are no Ebola cases in other African countries, not in Nigeria (although they had an infected Liberian official arrive in their country, but that has been contained), not in Senegal (again they had a single case with a traveler), not in Gabon (the country 1,400 miles away from Liberia where the man on the Delta flight was from), not in Ghana, and certainly not in UAE (which isn’t even in Africa and has no flights to the affected countries).

  3. Even more maddening are the insane calls to somehow magically “seal our borders” from anyone coming from West African countries. Usually this is stated by people who don’t realize 1) the number of US citizens who are either dual citizens of West African countries 2) have families in the region or 3) the substantial business interests of the resource extraction companies in the region who are not going to stop flying there. After all Delta’s Nigeria flight, atleast to my understanding, is done almost entirely for the benefit of oil and gas companies. I don’t think anyone is going to want to give up that level of investment and trade for what has been a minor outbreak.

  4. Good suggestions for sure. But in all seriousness, just get a flu shot. Not only will you prevent yourself from getting the flu, but there will be fewer people running around with flu symptoms making everybody else freak out. Please.

    1. Harrison – I’ve been traveling so it’s taken me awhile to get to these comments, but amen to that. Flu shots for all!

  5. Yes it is the media who causes more problems then any sickness with their need to make things sound far worse then they are just to get ratings. And we are going to get to a point if we aren’t already, that if someone sneezes on an airplane, they will make an emergency landing somewhere and a giant plastic bag will be put over the airplane to keep everyone in.

  6. While there is an extreme amount of paranoia, your advice is flippant and not quite on point. Nobody is out there suggesting that it takes drinking sweat to catch it. As if that’s the only way to catch it. Yes, 20,000 people in west Africa have been having sex with Ebola victims or drinking their sweat. The reality is that its probably a little more difficult to prevent catching the disease than the CDC and others are letting on. A person doesn’t have to be critically ill to shed virus; a sweaty handshake followed by a thoughtless rubbing of the eyes may be enough. If you wash your hands immediately preceding any contact with your nose, eyes or mouth well, youre a better man/woman than i. We just don’t know, bc this disease hasn’t been studied as in depth as others. There really haven’t been all that many cases historically to have the same number of data points as something like the flu.
    There’s a difference between believing that government officials never let on that they know less than they actually do, and living in an underground Doomsday bunker. If you believe that they do know as much as they claim, then you don’t really pay attention to many news stories.

    1. Ebola is very well studied disease, and has been for over 30 years since it’s first outbreak in Nigeria. We also know how it is transmitted. Insisting 20K people in West Africa have it because transmission is easy, or easier than we suspect, ignores the substantial infrastructure problems that dominate the large, endemically poor cities and slums of countries like Sierra Leone and Liberia. Lack of proper sanitation, contaminated water supplies, overcrowded living conditions, leads to a situation where one is almost always coming in contact with bodily fluids, generally through no fault of your own.

      The continued insistence on conspiracies allows people to point at cover up’s and nefarious plots as opposed to the serious and real effects of poverty, unequal development, and poor governance in African countries. Every single person who endorses a paranoid fantasy not only invokes un-needed paranoia and worry, but also takes away focus from the real problems mentioned above. And that IS the real crime here.

      1. Ebola is a studied disease, but its a stretch to call it a well-studied one. How could it be, when the number currently ill dwarfs the number who had it prior to 2013? My point is that there is a middle ground between raging paranoia and suggesting that it requires something on the order of having sex with critically ill Ebola victims or rubbing their sweat directly in open wounds… and yes, there are major infrastructure problems in the Third World, but as far as this outbreak is concerned, its due to lack of medical access rather than being awash in bodily fluids.
        I think much of the skepticism is of government and of its competence rather than of science. And with good reason; how many lie dead of cholera in Haiti without any acceptance of blame by the UN? How quick was the head of the CDC to blame the second Ebola victim? Its apparent that the optics of these situations are all that government officials truly care about. Nobody wants to be the next Brownie…

  7. A little accurate information would go a long way to alleviate the unwarranted fear over the Ebola virus. But, of course, that would involve some effort; something fear doesn’t require.

    1. Some point over the past forty years Americans forgot how to think critically. As a result – when ever there’s a story on the news like ebola, the rumors & stories start coming out of the woodwork along with the Alex Jones type. And I’m not even going there.

      1. You’re assuming that Americans as a whole ever knew how to think critically. In the last 40 years our news media choices exploded, and as a group we chose the ones that require the least amount of thinking.

        1. Nick Barnard,

          You’re assuming that Americans as a whole ever knew how to think critically. I at least would hope so – if not, my bad.

          In the last 40 years our news media choices exploded, and as a group we chose the ones that require the least amount of thinking. And what does that say about us as a society?

          To quote my good friend Alyssa – “THE NEWS IS STUPID”! Sorry for the all caps.

  8. If a trained nurse dealing with a KNOWN Ebola patient (as opposed to the compacency that inevitably occurs when a disease is theoretically possible but very unlikely) and taking full precautions becomes infected, its not out of the realm of possibility that a first or second degree casual contact could become sick as well. You aren’t well and then a minute later become obviously and outwardly sick.

    1. Actually, it appears that the Texas hospital procedures weren’t well enforced. This is perhaps not a surprise because it’s the same hospital that initially sent home their first Ebola patient, rather than admitting him, despite apparently obvious signs of the disease.

      There has been no transmission at the other facilities that have treated Ebola patients in the US.

      The procedures are somewhat cumbersome, but not particularly complicated.

    2. It has been 20 days, IIRC since Mr. Duncan entered the US, no one on the flights have shown any symptoms, his relatives who lived with him in the apartment have shown no symptoms, no one in the apartment complex have shown any symptoms. What is crazy is, people seem to think that there are all kinds of non stop flights from Monrovia and Freetown and Conakry, etc to the USA. More airline ignorance.

  9. Don’t forget to add the crazy skepticism of science. I love how Louisiana, not the most educated state in the union, believes that items once incinerated are still somehow dangerous. We should have told them it was oil sand and they would have thrown a parade in its honor.

  10. You are dangerously misinformed.

    Ask yourself one question: why is Ebola classified BSL-4? (If you don’t know what that means, google BSL-4 and read the wikipedia page on it.)

    Forget what the politicians and bureaucrats say. Experts who work with this virus in carefully controlled laboratory situations (no coughing/sneezing victims anywhere in sight) will not go near Ebola unless they’re in positive-pressure biohazard suits with an independent air supply and multiple levels of entrance/exit decontamination. Most hospitals are not equipped to deal with Ebola in such controlled lab conditions, let alone to deal with patients who cough/sneeze/vomit/etc. It’s little wonder that the nurse in Dallas was infected after following protocols that the CDC says are completely inadequate for their own lab workers. If the people with real-world experience and knowledge of this virus won’t share dry air with it, let alone aerosolized reside from coughs and sneezes, what makes you so confident that it’s so hard to transmit?

      1. Goodie, you can share tin-foil hats. Or perhaps not, if you believe that’s also a transmission vector.

        1. Cranky is correct, but I personally believe the CDC knows a whole lot more than they are letting on – for obvious reasons. It’s the ever increasing distrust of science as well as government in general that creates the voids for conspiracies to flourish. That creates more problems then it solves.

  11. I for one have wanted to join the “mile high club” ever since hitting puberty. Thanks for ruining it for me.

  12. There’s always something, isn’t there? Ebola, of course, brings back for me some local geographical paranoia. I have long lived right next to the “crab-eating macaques” Reston-Ebola scare of 20 years ago, or so. EBOLA! Those monkeys came in from the Philippines. We were all about to die. Quarantine them. Shoot them.

    They told us this ebola wouldn’t infect humans. Ha! Sure enough, people, some, my neighbors died. Yes, some were close to a hundred but the experts never tied one death to the monkey-ebola. Obviously, “dangerously misinformed!”

    With today’s news’ frenzy, I’m sure they would have called for the entire area of northern Virginia to be burned. But no, then, they simply tore down the lab building and replaced it with a child care center! It’s only a few yards from the new Reston Silver Line Metro stop and a wonderful 20-30-mile bike path.

    Now, I’m not saying…but! John Maynard Keyens said: “in the long run, we are all dead” but if you google all this, there are many “experts” who say he was and still is (even if he is dead) wrong.

    OK…what! UAL stock is up more than 6 percent today? See what you’ve done, Cranky? Did UAl write this blog for you today?

  13. In three weeks my travels will take me from Atlanta to two countries in western Europe. Both of those countries have commercial airline service to numerous cities in Africa. A person from the three countries who have the Ebola epidemic can still travel to Europe, and therefor beyond, quite easily if not non stop.. Now, one of the prime symptoms of Ebola is frequent, and often violent, vomiting. One CDC spokesperson referred to it as projectile vomiting. Having flown several million miles all over the world, I have witnessed more than a few “air sickness emergencies” including some where other passengers were affected. In one instance a passenger stood up at his seat and then threw up on the passenger in front of him. Ebola? Probably more likely the flu. But being infected on a flight is not just a far fetched notion. I’ll be thinking about it for certain.

  14. Call me a tin foil hat wearer or an idiot, whatever floats your boat.

    But I do not for one minute trust the US Government to ever give us the whole truth on anything until they have to. “Deny, Deny, Deny until we can’t.” That’s the motto. We just have this society where we admit as little as possible. Furthermore, what is the “whole truth” anyway?

    Besides, wasn’t there an issue with the backscatter machines where they claimed they couldn’t save images… until they started saving images?

    1. Just thinking about that gives me the chills.

      From the 2005 film Red Eye – Excuse me! this isn’t a hotel.

    2. AJ – Well, you should probably also ask if they’ve had Ebola in the last 3 months. Because apparently it can still be transmitted after recovery via semen for that long.

  15. Cranky, I think you’re drawing the right conclusion for the wrong reasons.

    Yeah, ebola isn’t airborne, but it still seems to be pretty contagious. The nurse in Texas didn’t do any of the silly things in your list. I imagine I could become infected by having a contagious person cough in my vicinity, and later rubbing my eye.

    Ebola isn’t much of a risk for air travel because it’s still really rare–at least among people traveling on commercial airliners. I wouldn’t care to share a plane with somebody ill with ebola, but I don’t have any hesitation about flying right now. I mean, what are the odds?

    For sure, screening procedures are going to need to get more rational before flu season worsens. I suggest three questions for passengers with flu symptoms: Within the last three weeks did you… travel from West Africa? help to care for an ebola patient? have contact with anybody who could answer yes to the first two questions and who seemed sick? No? Hope you feel better soon, sir. Next!

  16. We can also follow the Bill O’Reilley protocol and quarrantine everbody coming off an airplane that originated in western Africa, or came from a city where it is possible to connect from western Africa (ie: any flight from Europe) for 21 days. Of course you would have to expand government owned housing and healthcare facilities for those tens of thousands of passengers who come in every day. Oh the dilemna!!

  17. Cranky is right! Ebola is WAY overblown!
    Heck you are more likely to die in a car crash or from a household accident then getting Ebola.

    Straight from the CDC. Number of deaths for leading causes of death in 2011:
    Heart disease: 596,577
    Cancer: 576,691
    Respiratory diseases: 142,943
    Stroke: 128,932
    Accidents (unintentional injuries): 126,438
    Alzheimer’s disease: 84,974
    Diabetes: 73,831
    Influenza and Pneumonia: 53,826
    Intentional self-harm (suicide): 39,518

    1. friend – in balance i’d say that most of those causes are somewhat self-inflicted, natural body decay, or genetically prone to it, and are not transmittable. Yes, the numbers are much, much larger and the result as fatal as ebola; however, ebola is a communicable disease, though i’ve read/heard not as easy as a common cold, that may be preventable. This is nothing personal against cranky or you, but rather a reasonable concern for all involved.

      1. I’d also add, to your point, that no-one, yet reported, that flew with Mr. Duncan has contracted the disease.

  18. I agree that the media does a poor job covering news stories. The hype pays the bills. To be clear, I’m not justifying their actions. However, I do think there does need to be reasonable concern and action, and one of those deals with airlines due to them potentially, and in the case of Mr. Duncan, physically transporting someone with the disease. There are now 2 confirmed cases of transmittal to people who, while providing care, came into close contact with Mr. Duncan. I recall one instance where the person sitting next to me, on a full flight from lax, was very sick with a cold and kept sneezing. I noticed her constant sneezing and decided to keep my daughter as far as possible. A day later I myself got very sick and I attribute it to sitting next to the person. I’ve heard that Ebola is not as easily communicated as a cold, but my point here is that I was in close contact that I’d was concerned. In my estimation the risk is very grave enough to warrant reasonable concern. One is reasonable concern and the other is media hype I tend to ignore.

  19. I think you’re being too glib about Ebola. It is a contagious disease with no cure with more than a 50% fatality fate. Perhaps the media is fear mongering, but the airline industry is being irresponsible by saying there is “zero risk” of contracting Ebola on a flight. Nothing has “zero risk.”

  20. Risk assessment is essentially done by multiplying the chance of something happening by the cost if it does happen!
    Some months ago, an “expert” said that Ebola would not leave Africa because it was a poor peoples’ disease, and they could not afford to fly. Well, even in small quantities, it has now left Africa.
    Of course, if it were not a disease of the poor third world people then those fabulously well financed drug firms might have looked for a cure!

  21. Well – here is your 1st domestic carrier – Frontier DFW-CLE 10/10 CLE-DFW 10/13, passenger reported symptoms on the 14th

  22. Wait? A common sense article? If you listen to the cable networks or, god forbid, talk radio, you’d know that we all need to be scared and panicky and its the end times and the chemtrails and its Obama’s fault and ISIS and ….BENGHAZI!

    Thank you Brett, you should be on CNN instead of Mrs. Schiavo…

  23. I think the CDC is woefully unprepared as is the rest of the US and Canadian health care systems. We have a health care worker who treated US Patient 1 travelling within a 21 day period after potential exposure, a day before she exhibited a fever, but she may well have been contagious. This unnecessary violation of protocols in place monitoring Patient 1’s associates in that 21 day period put hundreds if not thousands of travelers at unnecessary risk and multiplied the number of people potential exposed (albeit at a minimal but existent risk) by an order of hundreds, making the CDC’s ability to track potential exposure useless. I don’t think we’re taking the potential risk seriously enough, nor evidently do the markets, which have dropped 500 points so far today.

  24. You don’t have to believe in conspiracy theories to think that the CDC–which I respect enormously–was overly optimistic about how well prepared American hospitals are. That Dallas hospital looks like a pretty big one, and yet we now know that at least two of its health care workers caught ebola from the patient.

  25. I have to say you are pretty good with the tongue n cheek stuff -I almost believed you were serious there for a minute – what was particularly good stuff about believing the WHO & CDC.” LMAO” .
    I thought I would give the folks here some inside info on how Air Plane Pressure / Air Conditioning systems work .
    The Engines supply – Pneumatic Air off (on some engines) the 8th &13th compressors to run the Air Cycle machines in the air conditioning bays the air is ran thru air to air heat exchangers and moisture separator screens , then into the cabins to heat or cool the cabins -and pressurize the vessel this removal of pneumatic air from the engines causes the engines to use more fuel –
    In the late 60’s & early 70’s engineers came up with a plan to reduce fuel consumption by closing the air Craft Out Flow Valves to minimum levels thus relieving the engine of the burden of constantly supplying new air to the cabin to maintain pressure of course one of the draw backs to this scheme was air stagnation , to remedy this these same engineers came up with an ingenious plan of installing Large “Recerc” Fans to churn the air in the cabin so the passengers would not have to breath their own air over and over,
    No they could now breath air some one else had already used with just a little new air added. This was great for the Planes engines & Airlines bottom line but not so great for you as you now had the pleasure of smelling the perfume of the lady in 14D , the Feet of the Sumo Wrestler in 21F & the Bad Breath of the Gentleman from Liberia in 49A. the added factor in this equation is the moisture separator screens they remove ALL the moisture out of the air to reduce the chance of ice crystals coming out the passenger eye ball air ducts – this however dry’s the air to the point that your mucus membranes are dry and scratchy & in some cases your body become dehydrated that along with the fact that the plane at altitude (30,000+) is only pressurized to 8,000 feet making your lungs and heart less efficient and making you more vulnerable to any disease of opportunity. HAVE A PLEASANT FLIGHT

    1. I always find it interesting that people freak out about recirculating air in an airplane, but not in a mall, office building, or grocery store.

      Yeah the 8,000 feet thing is a problem, but AFAIK most airplanes also have HEPA filters in them.

      1. Nick you seem to have access to information that we do not have, any chance you could post from which tech manual or manufactures literature you got the info on Airplanes having HEPA filters it is I suppose possible but I never ran across any planes that had hepa filters in my 40 years of maintaining aircraft & I actually was involved in installing the “Recerc” fan systems on the DC -10’s & later worked on the MD-11 which had the same basic system -……………….
        with ” NO HEPA FILTERS” ……………………………………………………………….
        just a short list of the planes I have worked on that I recall No HEPA filters being on board -…………………………………………………………………………….
        Boeing =707 , 720-B ,727-100 -200, 737-100-200-300-NG , 757, 767, Douglas= DC-6 , DC-8, DC-10 ,MD-11 ………………………………………………
        .Folker F-27 fairchild ,……………………………………………………………………….
        I would assume that with your knowledge of Recerc systems in Malls ,office buildings and grocery stores that you are working as some sort of janitor or Maint. man doing up keep on these systems any further info on these systems regarding tonnage etc. would be appreciated as I would like that info to ascertain if they are a safe environment during the present flue season. thanking you in advance . Bob

  26. Opinions are like belly buttons. Everybody has one. Let’s see your data. Let’s see your event sequence analyses, fault trees, failure hazard analyses. failure modes and effects analyses, with the rigor of ARP 4761 methodology. I’ve got mine, but then, I’ve been doing risk analysis per systems safety engineering methods professionally for an OEM for many, many years. I’m skeptical of the constantly changing CDC numbers in the press. My numbers tell me that quarantine is the only 100% effective method. There’ are too many unknowns dealing with this, given the latency period and mortality rate.

  27. The women traveling from cleveland was a selfish person. Potentially exposing everyone on the plane and at the airport. There is no excuse for her actions. She should be arrested for negligence.

    1. She flew while her temperature was normal? How is that negligence? Perhaps we should take temperatures of every passenger and only allow those who are at 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit to fly.

  28. My name is Bob but I thought it more appropriate to list my area of expertise being I was giving tech info.

  29. Brett,

    I have always respected your opinion when it comes to aviation matters. Your insight into airline operations is remarkable. However, I found this article to be an exception from the moment that I read it. Fast forward a few days, now that I am literally sitting 50′ from the contaminated airplane, and my feelings about this post are even stronger.

    Ebola is not a disease we should be so flippant about. The facts remain that 2 individuals that we not supposed to contract the virus, did. Then one of them proceeded to board a flight when she was beginning to have a fever and be potential infectious.

    In all honesty would you prefer to fly on the plane in question, or would you prefer to fly a different one? The thought wouldn’t cross your mind? I bet it would. The people I feel sorry for are the poor flight attendants that handled her drink and soiled trash. I also sympathize with the underpaid mechanics that have to clean up this aircraft.

    You broke rule # 1 of writing. Write what you know. Stick to airlines. Please also add the CDC to your ethics page.

      1. But she WAS beginning to have a fever, hence why she went to the hospital the next day.

        Would you have wanted to be on that plane with her?

      2. Except she was NOT an Average Person She had been potentially Exposed to the Virus and should have taken more precautions than some one who had not been handling a patient who was dying from Ebola , I agree with one of the previous posters and think she should be charged with public endangerment !

        1. Canplay – Thank you for doing that searching for me and providing the reputable links.

          Bob and Aaron – Are either of you a healthcare professional? I’m not. However, from what I have read and the reputable citations I have provided 99.5 is not a fever. We don’t have access to her medical record, perhaps her baseline temperature was warmer than normal, perhaps she had just finished some strenuous exercise.

          I’m not an aviation mechanic or a pilot so I don’t tell people how to fix planes or how to fly them.

          Oh, I’d sit next to that passenger on the same October 10th or 13th. (I believe those were the dates she flew.. I’m not looking at up at the time.)

          Would I kiss the bride? Nope. But I would kiss the groom.

          1. Nick you saw my sign in – Aircraft only – however due to some serious health problems I do subscribe to several medical news letter that give some insight into problems of this sort – I’m no health expert by any means how ever I have lived long enough to realize that I am not invincible or immortal unlike many of the younger folks who believe they can engage in any act of risky activity and come out unscathed . ………….You will learn by watching the loss of your peers –
            we just did a memorial to 8 of my fellows that were killed in the Vietnam War , I knew 6 of them fairly well.
            On kissing the Groom would that be before or after he started projectile vomiting and sweating at 101 degrees ?.
            I guess by now you folks that think the CDC has all the answers, have seen that They Aurthorised her to fly on that Frontier Plane that has since flown to many city’s including one in Mexico – so in the happen stance that they carried the disease to Mexico we might possibly see it coming across our Southern unguarded border ? I looked the links over pretty well ( always like new info) and it looks like the first installation of Hepa filters was around 1999 and then only on the larger planes , so this is why I was unaware of them being on planes at all as I retired not long after that – but as I said earlier there are lots of the planes I worked on still in service , a little added info -during my employment of 40 yrs working with aircraft not a single plane that I worked on ever was downed or crashed due to any action on my part in fact I was involved to removing disabled aircraft off runways after they had landed wheels up due to malfunctions of the LDG systems .
            When I read some of this Rhetoric I think of an old saying=
            “Fools rush in where Angels fear to tread”
            I sent those LINKS to a Captain friend of mine and he responded that “There are no HEPA filters on Vomit ,Sweat, & Urine , left on passenger seats ,arm rests, toilet facilities , glass’s ,cups & magazines etc. – ! !
            My only reason in posting in the first place was to inform the people on this site be wary we don’t live in Never Never Land and there are dangers out there , there are seat belts in your car for a reason – hope you don’t have to test them. Bob

    1. Aaron – So what is it I’ve said that’s inaccurate, exactly? There are two people we know who have Ebola because they are health care workers who have treated someone with Ebola. We still don’t know exactly how they got it, but it’s already clear that the hospital and the CDC didn’t handle this the way it should have been handled. But thanks to their bungling, there are plenty of illogical jumps now being made that if these people someone contracted it, then nowhere is safe.

      None of this changes anything about your chances of getting Ebola on an airplane. The panic just gets worse with this Frontier airplane being pulled out of service and carpets and seat covers being stripped out. Nobody has caught Ebola through casual contact in a public setting. Now if that somehow changes and we see even one person on this flight get sick, then I will completely change my tune. But nothing has happened to make me feel any different.

      1. Google Dr. Manny… he’s been researching Ebola for 11 years…. he’s all for banning flights and closing boarders. His research indicates Ebola is now primed for airborne transmission. The media relays CDC/WHO information as: Ebola can’t live on surfaces for more than 3 days… Dr. Manny’s research indicates THIS STRAIN is living 21 days on surfaces. I’m a Flight Attendant, I have first-hand knowledge of how aircraft are cleaned… it’s grotesque to say the least… same dirty rag being used on all sorts of surfaces. CDCs website has separate pages for Healthcare workers and Aviation personnel… why Aviation? It’s obvious… we are exposed to large numbers of people from ALL OVER THE WORLD, in a fast paced environment, where shortcuts are the norm for the sake of pushing off the gate on time. Another nugget…. We might have 2 masks on board…. BUT, if we open the kit to get a mask for a particular situation…. we become a no-fly until the entire kit is replaced. The AFA-CWA (our union) has presented recommendations to the CDC and is requesting set protocols like healthcare workers have. As of today, 10/21/14, I have noted a frightening % of LACK of public awareness/hygiene etiquette on an aircraft. We have always had the right to deny boarding to an obviously ill passenger… but we hesitate or only do so on case by case analysis “….Yeah, I’m really sick…. but I have to get to my mothers funeral… brothers wedding…. our Honeymoon… Disneyland….” you name it – we’ve seen it all. Our response, especially now… at what point did you decide it was a good idea to fly today?…you didn’t play that tape the whole way through, did you? Or how about just being considerate of other passengers and crew. So, lets talk about recirc air and hepa-filters now… our aircraft don’t have them and 29 out of 30 days of the month, the “plain old” filters are nasty, dirty, caked-up nightmares. The Media, Government and Health Agencies all have their own INDIVIDUAL agendas… the dots will never connect. I must protect myself and my passengers…. safety is the name of our game…. NOT coffee, tea, soda???….and yes, if you cough or sneeze on my aircraft without fully covering your mouth, I WILL say something to you and then I will glare at you the entire flight to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
        I’m sure folks that don’t deal with the public en masse like we do, find it very easy to call foul on media hype, just try for one minute to put yourself in our shoes. Have a great day, Mr. Flip Ant!
        BTW… don’t think there aren’t some countries/regions standing at their boarders, armed to the teeth saying… “Go ahead Mr/Ms Ebola Victim, cross that line…. I will shoot you dead right here!” That’s the real news they aren’t telling you.

        1. Just an FYI, I take people who stop for a moment and proofread a little more seriously.
          Boarders are people stay at a location and receive meals there. (e.g. a College student in a dorm.)
          That is unless you were going for the “a person who boards a ship during or after an attack.” definition?

          Borders are the things that divide political subdivisions, such as countries.

        2. FA321 I’m with you , they better start taking this seriously – -glad I’m retired and don’t have to handle those nasty filters any more.
          That must be nerve racking facing all those potential carriers – that would not be here if they Government would just do their job and make a temp ban on flights out of west Africa till the Disease is in check.
          I think the American Indian must have had similar thoughts about –
          SMALL POX – just a little rash , look where they ended up – wonder if It was the CDC handling out blankets – ??

          1. Bob-retired… thank you… and excellent point about American Indians, too! There have been so many plagues throughout history that left the people of the era wishing more had been done… But they didn’t possess the knowledge or resources… in 2014 we have no excuse, this is elementary. Good health and happy retirement to you!

  30. Holy crap…lots of paranoid nuts out there. Take the tinfoil off for a moment. Stop running around the house, tearing at your clothing, and stop screaming OH MY GOD WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE OF EBOLA!!!!!

    Have some facts. Cold hard facts, and logic.

    1) Thomas Duncan traveled, with Ebola, from Liberia to Europe to Washington to DFW. On several different airplanes. With Ebola. He landed here and got sick. He was in his house with his fiance and a bunch of kids. Then he went to the hospital and got sent home So he was in contact with hundreds of people…while he had Ebola. And the number of those people that caught the disease?

    None. Zero.

    2) To date in Africa there have been 5,000 deaths reported from Ebola. Suppose that’s underreported, and it’s actually 10,000. So…in an area with terrible medical care, terrible sanitation, crowded and backward living conditions, and extreme poverty, 10,000 people have died from the disease. That number alone shows that this is NOT an easy disease to catch.

    3) There have been tens of thousands of people travel from West Africa to Europe and the US since this outbreak began. NO ONE has caught Ebola on an airplane, in a hotel, or in customs from these people. NO ONE has caught Ebola in public from these people. NO ONE. The only people that have are nurses, people treating the patients in the throes of the disease. And that is correctable.

    Take a breath, people. The only folks that have caught Ebola in this country were two nurses that were working with the wrong protocols around the guy when he was projectile vomiting.

    We need to be aware of the disease, and we need to work hard to eradicate it at the source. We do NOT need to panic and freak out over its spread.

  31. John G
    How about this : us Paranoids who have some idea whats happening in the world ( older folks) with tin hats on their heads & a pistol grasp in their fist – will honker down and wait out the potential Plague .

    Mean while You Schizophrenic’s with tin foil inside your heads can run around like a chicken with it’s brains knocked out rubbing up against every possible contamination that’s available – – – – Deal ?

    And we can quit communicating on this subject as I really think it’s fine if you feel like committing Suicide just try and not take anyone else with you !

    1. Bob A&P (and everyone else) – This is quickly devolving into the comment section on a CNN article. You want to live in a bunker, go right ahead. The rest of us will continue living our lives until we see actual proof of anything you’ve been suggesting. So far, there has been none.

      I’m going to be monitoring this thread closely. If it spins any further out there, I’ll start moderating.

  32. The average US citizen DOESN’T need to be paranoid. Flight Attendants, on the other hand, are trapped in a tin can, during peak turbulence season and flu season with passengers puking, coughing and snotting all over the place every day… unlike nurses in a controlled environment… we have no protection and minimal resources. I’m simply advocating for my particular profession… Our Union, which represents 60,000 US Flight Attendants across 19 airlines, has approached Congress and the CDC for revised protocols during this outbreak, but has received no definitive outline to date. Yes, high risk travelers are now restricted to the 5 ports of entry. That does nothing for on-board safety and the ones that will inevitably slip by those magic thermometers. Easy, unrestricted access to simple things like masks, disposable aprons, proper gloves and Body Fluid Clean Up Kits… my particular airline removed the Body Fluid Cleanup Kits from all of our aircraft 3 months ago… they are sitting on skids in a hangar somewhere, still within their expiration dates. Not one single flight attendant or passenger wants to be THE ONE that gets vomited on and, uh oh…? How about some Public Service Announcements to the flying public… if you feel like you’re going to be sick…(such as the recent AA passenger that puked in the aisle trying to make it to the lav) DO NOT leave your seat…. locate that sick sack in the seat pocket in front of you and hit the call bell, cuz… chances are… you ARE NOT going to make it to the lav and people are gonna get wet! But, it happens every day… we, as a whole, get puked on ev-er-y day. Is that 60,000 member workgroup not big enough? Take one flight… with 6 flight attendants… only one person vomits on that flight… 3 flight attendants help clean/contain the mess… but the vomit didn’t make it into a bag of any sort and aerosolized all over.. Ebola… or no Ebola… now the risk must be assessed… passengers are skeezed and the Captain has to call for CDC containment. 300 passengers and 10 crew are now totally under the thumb of Mother Ebola. Connections missed, flights cancelled… people quarantined and contact traced. Lock it down, for the love of everything sacred!

  33. No bunker would just like to see responsible action by our Government .
    You can delete me from your sends as I’ve pretty well worn out on this – as I said every one is entitled to live their life as they please – either heeding warnings or not heeding them . you all have a good life .

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