I will be traveling from Spain to Morocco on the ferry this month, and I'm trying to see how dangerous as far as getting Ebola on this ferry? And are there any safety precautions on this ferry in order for it to be considered safe?

  • @GregHewgill this is specifically about the ferry, not the destination... – Mark Mayo Dec 15 '14 at 22:44
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    You are far more likely to be kidnapped or struck by lightning on your way to the ferry port than you are to contract Ebola. – Flimzy Dec 15 '14 at 23:17

To my knowledge, there has never been any Ebola patient in Morocco, ever. Royal Air Maroc serves many destinations in Africa, including Conakry from its hub in Casablanca so it stands to reason that, along with Paris and Brussels, it is slightly more exposed than any random place on earth but at this point this risk is vanishingly small and nothing to worry about.

On the other hand, a few people have been treated for Ebola Virus Disease in Spain and one person (a nurse) even contracted it in Madrid. So, while it is exceedingly small there as well, it would seem that the risk is slightly higher in Spain, empirically.

All this would seem to imply that taking the ferry from Morocco to Spain could therefore increase the risk of contracting Ebola. Staying in Spain after that would too.

Apart from that, there is a large desert between Morocco and West Africa and a very different climate so no way a new outbreak would appear locally. So what's the fuss about Morocco?

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  • There's a massive desert, but even Morocco themselves are concerned about flights in. – Mark Mayo Dec 16 '14 at 0:17
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    @MarkMayo Indeed but that's what I mentioned in the first paragraph; it's because Casablanca is a hub to Africa like Paris and Brussels, not because Morocco is on the African continent. Yet, it's the later we seemed to be asked about repeatedly. – Relaxed Dec 16 '14 at 0:43
  • Sure. I was just addressing your last sentence - if Morocco is worried, it's understandable the OP is too. – Mark Mayo Dec 16 '14 at 0:44

How dangerous? Well 0 cases have happened on said ferries so far, although some have reached the European mainland. So it's statistically 'possible' but very unlikely.

Remember, you're not going to get it by just walking past an infected person. You have to share bodily fluids, or get their blood into your mouth/wounds/other open areas. It's NOT (currently) transmissible through the air.

The CDC has a page on preventative measures to take. Follow this, and you'll almost certainly be absolutely fine.

If you travel to or are in an area affected by an Ebola outbreak, make sure to do the following:

  • Practice careful hygiene. For example, wash your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer and avoid contact with blood and body fluids.
  • Do not handle items that may have come in contact with an infected person’s blood or body fluids (such as clothes, bedding, needles, and medical equipment).
  • Avoid funeral or burial rituals that require handling the body of someone who has died from Ebola.
  • Avoid contact with bats and nonhuman primates or blood, fluids, and raw meat prepared from these animals.
  • Avoid facilities in West Africa where Ebola patients are being treated. The U.S. embassy or consulate is often able to provide advice on facilities.
  • After you return, monitor your health for 21 days and seek medical care immediately if you develop symptoms of Ebola.
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  • Well 0 cases have happened on said ferries so far, although some have reached the European mainland -- if by "some" you mean "one" :) – Flimzy Dec 15 '14 at 23:37
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    @Flimzy If “reaching the European mainland” includes patients evacuated for treatment, there have been a dozen or so in Germany, Spain, France, Italy, the UK and Switzerland. – Relaxed Dec 16 '14 at 0:12

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