Thursday, 02 October 2014
On Wednesday, a spokesperson for Brussels Airlines confirmed that the airline will continue its flights to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. The flights carry medicines and doctors to these countries affected by the Ebola virus, said the spokesperson. American authorities declined to inform Brussels Airlines that a hospital patient in Texas tested positive for the disease after a trip to Liberia. Brussels Airlines is therefore unclear whether this person traveled on one of its flights. Other companies as well as American aid flights could be affected.
According to a statement by American health authorities, the passenger did not show symptoms of Ebola upon his arrival on American soil. But the virus is contagious only when symptoms are apparent, said Geert Sciot, spokesman for Brussels Airlines.
The company has also taken various measures to avoid the risk of contamination during a flight, added Sciot. “The passengers’ temperatures are taken before check-in. Those who have a fever are denied, even if it is malaria. We would rather be safe than sorry.” If anyone shows symptoms of Ebola once on the plane, the Brussels Airlines staff has the materials to contain it.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has asked the Belgian company to maintain its flights to countries affected by the Ebola virus for humanitarian reasons. Nigeria, also hit by the epidemic, is not part of its destinations.