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A Southwest Airlines flight from Houston to Orlando was delayed upon arrival today after a sick passenger made the mistake of saying he had traveled to Kenya in August.
The flight crew contacted the CDC for advice, and somehow, rather than just telling them Kenya is nowhere near the outbreak and August is well beyond the 21 days that it can take for Ebola symptoms to appear, the man was examined upon arrival in Orlando. Unsurprisingly, he did not have Ebola, and the rest of the passengers were finally allowed to deplane.
I’m all for being safe and for quarantining people who have potentially been exposed to Ebola, but this situation was ridiculous, and here’s why:
This Ebola outbreak has been in west Africa, with the closest cases on the continent being in Nigeria. For those who are unfamiliar with African geography, Nigeria is nearly 2,100 miles away from Kenya!
Here’s a map that shows that the distance between the center of the 2 nations is over 2,100 miles.
To put this in perspective, if all flights with a sick passenger were detained for that person having been within 2,000 miles of an Ebola outbreak, every flight in the lower 48 states of the United States that had someone on it with a cold would currently be grounded due to the man sick with Ebola in Dallas, as shown on the map below.
Now do you see how crazy it was for this flight to be delayed this way?
Stop panicking over Ebola. Yes, it’s a scary, deadly disease for those people who have it, but you do not have it, nor will you have it, so don’t freak out if someone near you coughs. For more information, visit the CDC.
(Thanks to Pearls of Travel Wisdom for bringing this story to my attention)