Shares of the largest American airlines fell by 5 to 8 percent in afternoon trading amid fears that the Ebola virus could result in a reduction in the number of people flying.
Recent news that a nurse diagnosed with Ebola aboard a flight from Cleveland to Dallas has raised serious concerns about the risk of flying.
However, health officials have said that it’s very unlikely that any of the passengers on board the flight with the nurse (on Frontier Airlines Flight 1143 from Cleveland to Dallas-Fort Worth) could be infected – as the nurse didn’t show symptoms of the virus during the flight.
Health experts have said that Ebola can only spread through contact with the bodily fluids of someone who is already showing the symptoms of the virus, they have also said it is very unlikely that someone that sick would be unable to travel.
The CEO of the International Air Transport Association trade group, Tony Tyler, said that it’s unlikely that Ebola will have an affect on travel.
He told reporters in San Diego:
“You can’t rule out that worry about this disease could cause a drop in traffic. My personal view is that is unlikely.”
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that it is almost impossible that passengers who have contracted Ebola as the nurse, Amber Voy Vinson, was not bleeding or vomiting.
The decision to notify passengers who were on the same flight as Amber Voy Vinson was just a precautionary measure, however, it may result in some people delaying trips.
The first case of Ebola was diagnosed in the US last month and as a result US officials have expanded health screening of passengers from West Africa (the center of the Ebola epidemic) at five major airports.