SEVERAL leading US airlines said on Wednesday they were in close contact with federal health officials about Ebola-related travel concerns after a traveler infected with the deadly virus was diagnosed on US soil.
The patient, now hospitalised in Dallas, had flown from Ebola-ravaged Liberia through Brussels to Texas, the Liberian information ministry said. US health officials said there should be no risk to fellow passengers, as the patient began showing symptoms only after his arrival.
But stocks in major US air carriers fell as much as nearly 4 per cent on Wednesday over fears that the spread of the worst known Ebola outbreak beyond West Africa would make more customers fearful of traveling.
“People are nervous about (the first case of Ebola detected in the US) and what it means,” said Michael Derchin, an analyst at CRT Capital Group LLC.
Still, Derchin said that the market had overreacted. “I would be surprised if there’s any impact on travel,” he said.