This podcast provides an update on the Ebola response, as of November 19, 2014. Created: 11/19/2014 by National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID).
Date Released: 11/19/2014. Series Name: CDC Ebola Response Update.
[Announcer] This program is presented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
[Announcer] The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has emphasized that infectious viruses are only a plane ride away – and that has triggered some concern among travelers this holiday season.
Dr. Phyllis Kozarsky from the Travelers' Health Branch at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tells us why it’s extremely unlikely that a passenger on a plane, bus or train will get Ebola while traveling.
[Dr. Kozarsky] Ebola is very hard to catch. Ebola virus is spread through direct contact with blood or body fluids. So if you have not been to a country where the outbreak is going on or if you haven’t come in contact with someone who is very sick with the disease, you don’t have a risk of becoming infected with Ebola. Your risk is zero.
[Announcer] To help keep the risk low, passengers are screened for fever and other symptoms of Ebola as they leave West Africa – this is called exit screening – and if they are found to have symptoms, they are not allowed to get on a plane. Passengers are screened again when they arrive at the airport in the United States – this is called entry screening. If they have symptoms, they are referred to local public health authorities immediately. And even if they don’t have symptoms, all travelers are now being actively monitored for 21 days after they arrive from West Africa.
[Dr. Kozarsky] Since mid-October CDC has been working with the Department of Homeland Security to conduct enhanced entry screening at 5 US airports, in New York, Newark, Chicago, Atlanta and Washington, DC. Currently, all travelers arriving in the US from Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Mali arrive at one of these airports.
[Announcer] If you are traveling this holiday season, Dr. Kozarsky suggests packing a travel health kit with your luggage – and to know that there are bigger health threats this holiday season - like the flu.
[Dr. Kozarsky] Whether you're traveling across town or around the world, pack a travel health kit, which would include things like hand sanitizer and also talk with your doctor about how to stay healthy and safe before, during, and after your trip. And don’t forget that flu shot.
[Announcer] For the most accurate health information, visit www.cdc.gov or call 1-800-CDC-INFO.