Ebola risk for travelers is effectively zero
7 reasons why the Ebola risk for travelers is effectively zero
Ebola is a scary disease and should be taken very seriously. But outside of the outbreak area, the real risk for travelers is, effectively, zero. The reasons below explain why.
- Ebola isn’t airborne and doesn’t spread like the flu or tuberculosis
The virus only spreads if people come in direct contact with the bodily fluids —such as blood, sweat or saliva— of an infected person. Additionally, Ebola doesn’t spread until an infected person gets sick and shows symptoms, such as extreme vomiting, severe headaches or high fevers.
- The safari countries are far away from the outbreak area
Eastern and southern Africa, where most safaris are conducted, are at least 3,000 miles / 4,800 km away from the outbreak area; Europe and South America are closer.
- There were more direct flights from West Africa to Europe than to most safari countries
This is true of the period before flights to West Africa were banned by virtually all airlines, including those flying to the safari countries. West Africa and the safari countries are so far apart that most travel is conducted by air. Only a small portion of people in Africa can afford such travel.
- All safari countries have enacted strict precautionary measures
Commercial flights to Ebola outbreak countries have been cancelled. Most safari countries have banned entry for travelers arriving from affected West African countries. Others have mandated multi-week health surveillance. Emergency isolation centers have been set aside and health screening is in place at most airports and major border posts. More info about the precautionary measures per safari country.
- No country has issued an Ebola related travel warning against any of the safari countries
Government travel advisories are responsible for warning their citizens against travel related risks. They are very professional and restrained when it comes to taking precautions for travelers. If there was an increased or significant Ebola risk in any of the safari countries, they would have included it in their travel advice.
- It is possible to book a safari with free Ebola related cancellation
Any financial worries can be eliminated by booking a tour with fee Ebola related cancellation. See the above list of companies for more info.
- As there is no Ebola in any of the major safari countries, there currently is no risk
The outbreak began in December 2013, which is 11 months ago. It hasn’t spread into East or southern Africa since, and it is extremely unlikely it will. Isolated cases, as we’ve seen in neighboring countries, Europe and the US, can always occur. But so far, these haven’t resulted in new outbreaks. All countries have successfully contained the virus, including third world countries such as Nigeria and Senegal, which have been officially declared Ebola free.