10/01/2014 02:28 pm ET Updated Oct 01, 2014

Airplane Passengers Who Traveled With U.S. Ebola Patient Aren't At Risk, Expert Says

Because the Dallas Ebola patient was not showing symptoms of the virus when he was traveling on the airplane from Liberia to the United States, his fellow passengers on the plane aren't at risk for Ebola, an infectious disease expert explained on HuffPost Live today (Oct. 1).

An Ebola patient is only contagious if he or she is showing symptoms, Robert Garry, Ph.D., who works in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology at Tulane University, explained to HuffPost Live host Marc Lamont Hill. Therefore, there's "zero risk of infection aboard the plane the patient was on."

"I'm confident that's the case. The patient didn't start to show symptoms until many days later," Garry said. "People on the plane really have nothing to really worry about from this patient."

The patient, Thomas Eric Duncan, traveled from Liberia to the U.S. from Sept. 19 to 20, but didn't start showing symptoms until Sept. 24. He sought medical help on Sept. 26 and was admitted to the hospital on Sept. 28.

However, if Duncan had shown symptoms while aboard the plane, it would be a different story. In fact, the shared airplane lavatory could then have been a potential way for the disease to spread.

For more, watch the HuffPost Live clip above.



Symptoms of Ebola