Ebola fears high in US despite low risk

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Among new developments Friday in the worldwide effort to contain Ebola, the World Health Organization declared Senegal Ebola-free.

Nigeria could be next. The African nation had 19 cases of Ebola on Monday. WHO will declare it Ebola-free if a new case is not detected over the weekend. To reach that status a country must go 42 days without any new cases.

Here in the United States, the two nurses infected after treating a patient who died at a Dallas hospital are both in isolation. Although doctors say the risk of catching Ebola in the United States is incredibly small, some travelers are already displaying signs of anxiety.

During a Southwest flight to Philadelphia Thursday, a woman wore a mask. A woman at Dulles International airport traveled in a homemade protective suit. Photos from these type of reactions are going viral on social media.

No Californian has been diagnosed with Ebola, but Regina Aguirre told us she feels at risk.

"I'm just trying to stay safe, staying away from people who are sneezing, coughing, have fever," said Regina Aguirre of San Francisco.

Others in downtown San Francisco aren't as concerned.

"I think everything's under control. I think Nigeria was exemplary in how they handled it, the U.S. can learn from that, we'll be fine," said Cassie Ayeni of San Francisco.

Doctor Lisa Winston says it's important not to over react when someone around you feels ill.

"Even though this virus is extremely scary and we're all working very hard to prepare for it, it's really uncommon and we have not seen people who have gotten it from casual contact." Said Winson.

She says you're much more at risk of exposure to the flu.

According to the CDC, flu claims the lives of more than 20,000 Americans annually. The best thing you can do to protect yourself from getting sick this fall and winter is get a flu shot.

Doctor Winston says you cannot get Ebola from touching the creamer at a coffee shop, or the keys on an ATM, or walking by someone who sneezes. She says it's only contracted after close contact with an infected person's bodily secretions or fluids.

For full coverage on the Ebola virus, click here.
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