10 Ways That You Can’t Contract Ebola

By Edward K. Chapnick

With all the well-publicized talk of how you can get Ebola and how you can prevent it, knowing how you can’t get Ebola is important. Here are ten ways that you can’t become infected with the Ebola virus.

  • Bowling with an asymptomatic doctor. Say your friend’s an infectious disease specialist, and he’s been in the company of one of the rare North American cases all day. Your friend wants to go out after work to bowl a few games. Doing so with him is perfectly safe. Sure, he may put his sweaty hand in the same ball that you’re using, but if he has no symptoms, he can’t give you Ebola.

  • Sitting on a plane next to someone from West Africa. Just because someone from West Africa is on your plane doesn’t mean that you should freak out. First of all, the entire region’s population isn’t infected. Secondly, Ebola isn’t airborne.

  • Eating at an African restaurant. Some people have stopped going to restaurants that have the word African in them for fear that Ebola is somehow being transmitted through the food. Your food was prepared here, nowhere close to the affected area.

  • Getting bitten by a mosquito. Mosquitos can spread other things (mostly annoyance), but they can’t spread Ebola. So far, it seems only mammals are Ebola carriers.

  • Stopping at a convenience store after someone with Ebola was there. Say that you run into a store really fast to grab yourself a refreshing fountain beverage. You wait your turn, nod to the guy in front of you as he finishes, and go about your day. Later that week, you see his face on the news as the latest Ebola case. Don’t panic. It’s not airborne, and people aren’t contagious if they don’t have symptoms. Unless he gushed blood onto you, you should be pretty safe.

  • Going anywhere on the entire continent of Africa. Only three countries on the whole African continent have current Ebola outbreaks, and Africa is a very big place. You can’t catch Ebola from being in a non-outbreak area thousands of miles away. So no need to cancel your trip to South Africa.

  • Hanging out with your neighbor who happens to be from Guinea. She moved here in 2004 and hasn’t been back in her native country since. Ebola isn’t a genetic disease; she wasn’t born with it. You’re safe.

  • Bringing your quarantined friend something from the store. Say by some weird improbability that one of your friends who went to West Africa to help fight the Ebola outbreak is back and is quarantined. It’s okay for you to bring her some snacks and a magazine to help pass the time. If she has no symptoms, she can’t give you anything.

  • Going on a date with a nurse at Bellevue Hospital, or living with a doctor who’s come back from volunteer work in Liberia. These people are heroes for tending to the sick and people at need. They don’t deserve to be shunned. Ebola can’t be transmitted through acts of goodwill, nor can it be transmitted by people who have no symptoms. You’re safe.

  • Playing soccer with Dele Adebola. Dele Adebola is a soccer player in the United Kingdom. He had to Tweet, “I don’t have Ebola.” Take heed: People whose names have the word Ebola in them aren’t carriers of the virus. You can play soccer with him all you want.