Air Travel ‘Low Risk’ For Ebola Transmission, WHO Says; Airlines Suspend Flights To, From Parts Of Africa

News outlets report on the WHO’s statement on the ‘low’ risk of Ebola transmission for airline travel. Despite the WHO’s statement, a few airlines have suspended flights to and from affected countries, as well as other parts of Africa, due to the outbreak.

New York Times: Health Officials Try to Quell Fear of Ebola Spreading by Air Travel
“The World Health Organization on Thursday swiftly sought to quell fears that international air travel could become a conduit for spreading the deadly Ebola virus from Africa around the globe, emphasizing that such a risk was low…” (Cumming-Bruce, 8/14).

Reuters: Kenya Airways to suspend flights to Freetown, Monrovia due to Ebola
“Kenya Airways will suspend flights to Liberia’s capital Monrovia and Sierra Leone’s capital Freetown due to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the company said on Saturday…” (Miriri, 8/16).

U.N. News Centre: Ebola: U.N. health agency seeks to allay fears about air travel
“The United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) today sought to allay fears amid reports that airlines are suspending flights over the Ebola outbreak by sending out a social media messages with assurances that ‘unlike infections like influenza and tuberculosis, Ebola is not airborne’ …” (8/14).

VOA News: WHO: Ebola Unlikely to Spread on Airplanes
“The World Health Organization says it does not recommend a ban on air travel to and from Ebola affected countries in West Africa. … Korean Air announced Thursday it would suspend air travel to Kenya as of August 20 as a measure to prevent the spread of the Ebola virus. The first airline to take similar action was the Dubai carrier Emirates, which suspended air travel to Guinea on August 2…” (Schlein, 8/14).

WHO: WHO: Air travel is low-risk for Ebola transmission
“The World Health Organization (WHO) today reiterated its position that the risk of transmission of Ebola virus disease during air travel remains low…” (8/14).