Here Are the 35 Countries Ebola Can Now Spread to in Just One Flight

Friday, July 25: Patrick Sawyer, a Liberian government consultant, dies in the city of Lagos, Nigeria, after testing positive for the Ebola virus.


Image Credit: AP

His symptoms first appeared on the flight from Monrovia, raising concerns that his 100 or so fellow passengers might be infected as well. None of them were quarantined upon arrival, meaning they freely entered a city of 21 million people or moved on to other international flights, according to Quartz.

As of Thursday, they remain at large.

Wednesday, July 30: Quartz publishes a map of the 35 countries that have direct flights to and from the four nations where Ebola is now present:


Image Credit: Quartz

They include Kenya, Angola, South Africa, France, Spain and the United States.

The implication is clear: If health officials in Lagos fail to contain the virus, it has a chance to go global.

The likelihood of this happening remains slim, as Ebola spreads by entering the mucous membranes of new hosts through the vomit, semen, mucus and blood of infected parties. For anyone on Sawyer's flight to succumb, they'd have had to be in physical contact with his bodily fluids.

As Quartz reports, this seems unlikely, but the virus is capable of surviving "in liquid or dried materials" for days outside a living host. The World Health Organization has yet to endorse any travel restrictions in or out of Lagos, which is also encouraging news. Meanwhile, countries throughout the region have stepped up their screening processes for air travel.

Hopefully it's not too late.

The toll: More than 700 people have died so far in what's been called the worst Ebola outbreak in recorded history. Before the 2014 upsurge, nearly 1,600 people had died of the virus worldwide.


Image Credit: Quartz

Between Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, where the virus first appeared, more than 1,100 West Africans have been infected, including medics, aid workers and Sierra Leone's top Ebola doctor, Sheik Umar Khan, who died of the virus on Tuesday.


Image Credit: Quartz

Ebola symptoms are hard to detect at first, as they often resemble those exhibited by fever, malaria and typhoid patients. But by the end, there's no mistaking them: Vomiting and diarrhea turn into skin boils and internal organ failure, typically killing 9 out of 10 people it touches.



Image Credit: Bloomberg

The current outbreak started in March, and so far shows few signs of subsiding.

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Zak Cheney Rice

Zak is a Senior Staff Writer at Mic.

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