“I’m going to Africa and I won’t get Ebola”
Since the last couple of months, the continent of Africa is more and more linked to the word ‘Ebola’, which is frightening many people. Understandable. The deadly virus has killed at least 4,000 in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
Having that said, Africa is more than only the western part. It’s the world second largest continent and contains 54 different countries. Countries that are all suffering from the impact of the Ebola outbreak, especially East Africa.
For travelers there is virtually no risk of contracting the deadly virus when going on safari in Uganda, Kenya or Tanzania. It would be a shame if all the panic over Ebola and the confusion about geography keeps you from visiting a vast, varied and beautiful continent.
We will give you 5 reasons why Uganda (and other East African destinations) are completely safe:
1. Africa is a continent, not a country
As already explained, Africa contains more than 50 individual countries. It is over 30 million sq km, a size that can fit the entire Europe, United States, Alaska and China! Check out the map below to understand the true size of Africa.
The current outbreak is largely confined to a region that is closer to Europe than it is to most of the popular safari destinations. In fact, Paris in France is closer to the outbreak area as Uganda’s capital city Kampala. See below for a detailed map.
3. Actual cases of Ebola
Currently Uganda has fewer cases of Ebola (zero!) than the USA or Spain; it’s completely free!
4. Risk of transmission
The deadly virus can be contracted only through direct contact with the blood or bodily fluids of a person who is already showing the symptoms. Ebola is not spread through the air, by water or by food. Click here for more facts about the Ebola virus.
5. Experience & Precautionary measures
The Ugandan Ministry of Health has dealt with Ebola cases in the past and has gained experience in controlling such calamities. This can be drawn from the recent example when the country was sharing its experience at the UN conference addressing the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
The government has intensified campaigns to educte the public on the virus and how to manage a possible outbreak in the country. They provide updates on the status of Ebola in West Africa and remind people to be alert and vigilant, and advise to postpone all travel to Ebola affected countries. The Ugandan government has recently also intensified screening of travellers coming into the country at its main airport and other border ports.
The East African community stands together against Ebola and other countries have introduced similar measures.
Finally, as you may be aware, in September a case of Marburg was confirmed in Uganda, when a hospital technician died of the hemorrhagic fever. Since then, epidemiologists and officials have quarantined about 80 people who were directly or indirectly linked to the victim and in total 149 people are under observation. All contacts have tested negative and are still in a healthy condition but they will be monitored closely for another period. On 14th October, the country was officially declared Marburg free as no new cases have been registered since the single victim.
Statistically, the chance of contracting Ebola or the Marburg virus on safari is effectively zero. You are significantly more likely to be killed by a falling coconut!
Or attract a completely other type of virus, also known as the “Africa virus” which makes you want to come back to Africa again and again. Definitely very dangerous and contagious!
Please do not hesitate to contact us in case of any questions or if further information is needed.