Contradicts Previous Government Statements
The government has claimed that you can’t catch Ebola sitting on a bus with an Ebola carrier:
However, the CDC now admits that you can …
As Huffington Post notes today, after Dallas nurse Amber Vinson flew on two commercial jets after catching Ebola:
A CDC spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal on Thursday that it was possible that passengers on Vinson’s Friday flight may have contracted the virus.
Yesterday, CNS News reported:
[CDC head Frieden said] if you are sick and you may have Ebola, should you get on a bus? And the answer to that is also no. You might become ill, you might have a problem that exposes someone around you,” he said.
On Tuesday, a spokesperson for the CDC told CNSNews.com that it’s “not impossible” to contract Ebola from an infected person on a bus, particularly if the healthy person touches a contaminated object.
“It’s very unlikely,” CDC Spokesperson Kristen Nordlund explained. “But if, say, someone was sweating or had blood and touched a handrail and then you touched it right after, and put your hand in your mouth, it is possible. It’s not impossible.”
“Also if the person vomits on you, that can’t be ruled out,” Nordlund continued. “But to get it that way, there’s not a high likelihood of that happening.”
And CNS pointed out last week:
The CDC also explains a person may contract Ebola if he or she “spends a long amount of time within three feet (one meter) of a person who is sick with Ebola.”
On another page detailing Ebola exposure risks and “Public Health Actions,” the CDC reports there is “some risk of exposure” from “other close contact with an [Ebola] patient in health care facilities or community settings.” For these patients, the CDC recommends “If air transport is clinically appropriate and indicated, air medical transport only (no commercial conveyances permitted).”
“Controlled movement requires people to notify the public health authority about their intended travel for 21 days after their last known potential Ebola virus exposure,” the CDC stated. “These individuals should not travel by commercial conveyances (e.g. airplane, ship, long-distance bus, or train). Local use of public transportation (e.g. taxi, bus) by asymptomatic individuals should be discussed with the public health authority.”
“If travel is approved, the exposed person must have timely access to appropriate medical care if symptoms develop during travel,” the CDC continued. “Approved long-distance travel should be by chartered flight or private vehicle; if local public transportation is used, the individual must be able to exit quickly.”
On transcontinental commercial flights, of course, you might be sitting within 3 feet of people for many hours, with little opportunity for anyone to “exit quickly.”
No wonder almost 50% of all Americans are avoiding international air travel for fear of catching Ebola.
Postscript: Given the above, the CDC’s authorization for Ebola nurse Vinson to fly on a commercial jet with a temperature is stupid, indeed.