Obama: You Can't Get Ebola 'Sitting Next to Someone on a Bus;' CDC: 'Avoid Public Transportation'

By Brittany M. Hughes | October 9, 2014 | 2:44 PM EDT

(CNSNews.com) - Speaking in a video message to residents of West African countries currently experiencing outbreaks of Ebola, President Barack Obama dispensed advice on how residents can avoid the disease, including:"You cannot get it through casual contact like sitting next to someone on a bus."

At the same time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is advising Americans who travel to the Ebola-stricken nations to "avoid public transportation."

“First, Ebola is not spread through the air like the flu,” Obama said in the video released by the White House Thursday. “You cannot get it through casual contact like sitting next to someone one a bus. You cannot get it from another person until they start showing symptoms of the disease, like fever.”

Obama also said that “the most common way you can get Ebola is by touching the body fluids of someone who is sick or has died from it, like their sweat, saliva or blood, or through a contaminated item like a needle.”

The CDC, however, is advising aid workers and others who travel to countries currently experiencing Ebola outbreaks to “avoid public transportation” if they develop a fever or experience other Ebola-like symptoms while on their trip.

Listed among their online recommendations for travelers journeying to Liberia, Guinea, Nigeria or Sierra Leone, the CDC advises travelers who begin to exhibit possible Ebola symptoms and choose to visit a doctor to “Limit your contact with other people when you travel to the doctor; avoid public transportation.”

The CDC also told travelers with Ebola symptoms, “Do not travel anywhere except to the doctor’s office or hospital.”

“If you get symptoms of Ebola, it is important to stay apart from other people and call your doctor right away,” the website continues.

The CDC also explains a person may contract Ebola if he or she “spends a long amount of time within three feet (one meter) of a person who is sick with Ebola.”

Recommended precautions to avoid contracting Ebola “includes wearing a mask over your mouth and nose, waterproof gloves, a gown (to protect clothing), and eye protection (goggles or a face shield – corrective glasses are not enough).”

On another page detailing Ebola exposure risks and “Public Health Actions,” the CDC reports there is “some risk of exposure” from “other close contact with an [Ebola] patient in health care facilities or community settings.” For these patients, the CDC recommends “If air transport is clinically appropriate and indicated, air medical transport only (no commercial conveyances permitted).”

“Controlled movement requires people to notify the public health authority about their intended travel for 21 days after their last known potential Ebola virus exposure,” the CDC stated. “These individuals should not travel by commercial conveyances (e.g. airplane, ship, long-distance bus, or train). Local use of public transportation (e.g. taxi, bus) by asymptomatic individuals should be discussed with the public health authority.”

“If travel is approved, the exposed person must have timely access to appropriate medical care if symptoms develop during travel,” the CDC continued. “Approved long-distance travel should be by chartered flight or private vehicle; if local public transportation is used, the individual must be able to exit quickly.”