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How the Ebola Outbreak Could Affect U.S. Travelers

SmarterTravel

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported about 1,500 suspected and confirmed cases of Ebola hemorraghic fever in Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Nigeria. Here’s how the outbreak could potentially affect travelers departing from the U.S.

What You Need to Know

Keep calm and carry on, though probably not in Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Nigeria. Anyone visiting or transferring through these Western African nations will be subjected to extra health screenings at airports before being allowed to continue on their travels. And, according to Bloomberg, border closings have shuttered mutual points of entry between Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea. Those looking to get into Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone will also be hard pressed to find a flight, reports the DailyMail, as airlines, including Emirates, Arik, and Asky have begun to suspend flights to Ebola-ravaged nations.

The U.S. State Department has yet to officially recommend travel warnings or prohibitions for any of the contagion-affected countries (an unrelated travel warning to Nigeria has been in effect since May 2014 due to violence).

Be in the Know

Know the symptoms. According to the CDC, symptoms can take up to 21 days after exposure to appear: they include fever, sore throat, muscle pains, and headaches, among other ailments. Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea follow, along with severe internal and external bleeding in advanced stages of the disease.

Patients have a bleak 10 percent chance of beating the disease unless it is detected early, in which the the survival rate climbs to 40 percent.

The CDC says that there’s minimal risk for spread of this infectious disease in the U.S. There willl be no border closings in the States. The focus will remain on defeating the outbreak at its “source in Africa.”

Prepare

Be ready to cancel international travel at a moment’s notice. Consider purchasing trip insurance on big-ticket items like airfare and accommodations. InsureMyTrip.com posts customer reviews from nearly 400 travel-cancelation insurance plans.

You can also avoid insurance fees by booking tickets with a credit card that covers canceled trips—even if you’re the one canceling. Read your card’s fine print.

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Credit: (Photo: Petri Dish via Shutterstock)

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