I'm a fairly paranoid traveler. I'm in Chennai at the moment, but I can't wait to get back home to Los Angeles. Because of the general lack of hygiene here and, well, the way they handle things like food, I do not want to be in India at all.

I've been reading that New Delhi has the most West African expats in the country. I have to go there for a business meeting. What is the general chance to catch Ebola in New Delhi?

  • 5
    Unless India is now part of West Africa, you should be safe. See this map of reported outbreaks, and you'll see that nothing is close to India--or almost any other part of the world about where people ask these questions. Not to mention there are far more dangerous things in India (and West Africa) than the Ebola virus.
    – Flimzy
    Oct 14, 2014 at 14:54
  • 4
    – Flimzy
    Oct 14, 2014 at 15:08
  • 2
    @Timmy: So they have bad hygiene. There still isn't a single reported case of Ebola there. So unless you're asking us to predict the future of when the first case will happen there, there's nothing we can tell you that Google can't already tell you. If hygiene is your concern, there are far more serious and contagious diseases than Ebola.
    – Flimzy
    Oct 14, 2014 at 15:31
  • 6
    @Timmy You do realise you are in a Third World country? Standards of living are much more basic than those of the west. Soak it all up. You are very lucky to be visting a rich and vibrant country. Anyway you are more likely to die from Influenza, MRSA or Resistant Gonorrhoea this year than catch Ebola...
    – medina
    Oct 14, 2014 at 15:35
  • 7
    When you return to Los Angeles, you will be 3 times closer to the nearest Ebola patient than you are in New Delhi. (Los Angeles - Dallas = 1235 miles, New Delhi - Leipzig = 3645 miles.) Oct 15, 2014 at 5:44

5 Answers 5


I wouldn't worry about Ebola in India, and neither does the Economist. There is a small Indian diaspora in West Africa (far smaller than the one in East Africa, mind you), but compared to India's sheer population the amount of passengers traveling between the two is pretty minuscule. Now add in that Ebola transmission requires direct contact with a patient's bodily fluids, and all told, you're considerably more likely to be killed by a roller coaster.

PS. You might want to worry about hepatitis, typhoid, malaria, dengue, Japanese encephalitis, bubonic plague, chikungunya, leptospirosis, schistosomiasis, meningitis, rabies, cholera and dysentery though ;)

  • 4
    I think in a big city like the OP is in, traffic accidents are likely to be several orders of magnitude more risky for them!
    – Gagravarr
    Oct 14, 2014 at 12:24
  • 1
    The "PS" was tongue in cheek, but I was trying to point out that even if you are paranoid about diseases, there's a whole bunch of stuff that's realistically more worrisome than Ebola in India. Oct 15, 2014 at 0:17
  • Was never that worried in Delhi traffic though, it crawls so slowly most of time that it's unlikely to kill you. (Unless you're a pedestrian, that is.) Oct 15, 2014 at 0:18
  • @jpatokal Most of those are 'OK' in that they can be immunised or medicated against (given enough $) or avoided with a modicum of common sense (and/or paranoia). Hep C not quite yet but the solution for that is 'easy'. Not that I'm not covered for all those myself - but I'm (probably) covered for Rabies after a minor incident with a guard dog in China :-). Oct 15, 2014 at 6:22
  • Now its claimed to be airborne.....
    – Timmy
    Oct 16, 2014 at 10:55

Based on your comment you should be scared to go back home because if i compare to current situation, India don't have a Ebola case yet but USA have. Jokes apart i think you are safe to go to Delhi, Just make sure you drink packaged drinking water and you should be fine. Stay and eat in any 5 star hotel if you don't like local food and its hygiene.


According to the latest news there no problems reported with Ebola in India.

There are only a few cases outside of the African continent itself, e.g. in Spain and the United States, but not in India.


As others have noted, the chances of contracting Ebola in India are so close to zero that they are literally not worth worrying about. Even closer to zero if you practice hygiene precautions at a paranoid level already, as you suggest that you do.

There are worse places to be overall-health-wise than India, I suspect.

I've visited LA, New Delhi and Chennai, amongst 'quite a few' other places. The chances of dying from gunshot or car accident or being mugged or having my lungs (slightly more) eroded by air pollution in LA would make any dangers I faced in Chennai or ND more attractive. I'd love to spend more time looking around LA, but given the choice if I was offered a free one week trip to any of the 3, LA would be last on my list. [I'd probably choose ND and take a quick trip to Nepal].

FWIW people 'under watch' for Ebola have a finite or low chance of actually having it. In China I met a young couple who were unwise enough to try to cross Vietnam-China at a less common border crossing during one of the bird flu scares. He had been carrying her pack and it was a hot day and ... . Would you come with me, please, Sir, or equivalent. Some weeks were served in a Vietnamese hell-hole (didn't have to be that way, it's just what the authorities decided to do) with some very illogical actions along the way before being sent on their way. How is that relevant to you? In this way ....

When you rush to the departure gate all hot and bothered on a hot Indian day, take a moment to calm down, walk slower and wipe your brow with an alcohol wipe as you approach the IR scanner - or you may be closer to people "under watch" than you are at all happy with.

Note: What do you do for a living? If electrical/electronic or about anything "technical" (I learn real fast :-)), then if you ever want somebody to attend a conference in India on your behalf, all expenses paid and a modest per diem, please advise. Any time :-)

  • I work with ERP, Mobile App, Ecommerce development. Gunshot and being mugged? Where did you go Compton? This isn't the 80s or the 90s. Well as long as you don't go to the ghetto (i don't know why any tourists would) You're fine. Plus no one is going to "mug or shoot" tourists in typically normal areas. They look for gangsters, not you. Car accidents? Every time i come to India i see many deaths from people hanging on buses and trucks, to people driving on the wrong side of the road Eroded by LA air pollution? New Dehli, Chennai, Beijing, Shanghai is much more polluted then LA will ever be.
    – Timmy
    Oct 15, 2014 at 10:50
  • This is a 3rd world country, Look and act like a rich authoritative figure and the authorities let you go or what not. The 'Ebola' Check line was nothing more then just another immigration booth right next to the one i was standing at. Theres a reason why the CDC type organizations go in with full suits because the disease can mutate and the disease might go airborne. With the lack of hygiene here and the health care system here. If it lands in India it'll spread very quickly.
    – Timmy
    Oct 15, 2014 at 11:00
  • It seems to me you're bashing on my home then actually staying on topic. Santa Monica, Venice, Hollywood, Downtown, Ventura Blvd, Koreatown, Old town pasadena. Theres close to 0 chance they're going to rob or shoot a white male like you. If you don't want to come to LA thats fine, but don't lie about. I don't like visiting 3rd world countries, thats my preference. To each their own, but i don't Lie about places i visit.
    – Timmy
    Oct 15, 2014 at 11:01
  • @Timmy - Sabres at dawn,please have your second contact mine :-) | Lies? Whatever.I try to avoid them. I expressed a personal preference. | I've visited all the cities on your list - and I've been to worse than any of them air pollution wise. Beijing and Shanghai are generally worse than anywhere I saw in India. ND to Agra was the worst I saw in India with many brick kilns producing copious black smoke. A great shame. I've only been in LA briefly on 2 occasions and have no recollections of its smog - I'm basing my comments on its long established fame and various images I've seen. .... Oct 15, 2014 at 11:49
  • ... such as these images of LA smog. Similar to what I've seen in China (15 visits, 6 months in country) and worse than anything I saw in India. One visit, 3 weeks in country - Chennai, Pune. New Delhi, Agra, Mumbai. I may have struck a good period. || Go to the Ghetto? / Don't know why any tourists would -> I rode sleeper class Chennai-Pune ($US5! 1000km :-)) I sought out the "realest" slums I could find in the time available. I (and my camera(s) walk .... Oct 15, 2014 at 11:54

I am currently in Hyderabad,India (making some business) and it is quite safe here related with Ebola. Less secure currently is in USA and EU.

  • Just notice this but how is the EU even relevant in this context? If, say, Slovenia or Bulgaria are at risk, I would think Serbia is too.
    – Relaxed
    Sep 29, 2015 at 10:50

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .