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SEATTLE - The number one question on a lot of people s minds: What are the chances of an Ebola outbreak in Seattle? A Seattle scientist who has been studying the virus shares her perspective.

There s been a lot of talk about the Ebola virus being just a plane ride away, but researcher Angela Rasmussen, PhD, says the reality is Ebola isn t easy to catch.

It s much easier to transmit the flu on a plane, said Rasmussen. There have been many cases since Ebola emerged in 1976 of Ebola patients getting on planes, traveling. And nobody has ever been recorded as contracting Ebola from their seat neighbor on a plane or in fact anybody on the plane with them.

The virus is transmitted by contact with bodily fluids. She says the bigger concern is that Ebola will spread to a large African city where sanitation and infection containment aren t as controlled as in the U.S.

I think that s where it is the scariest and where there s the greatest risk, said Rasmussen.

But already, lessons are being learned.

One thing we ve found out in this outbreak is that patients who present to the hospital early and get good, supportive care actually may have a better chance of surviving, said Rasmussen.

She says with this awareness, officials are looking for it now.

What everybody has with it is fever, vomiting, diarrhea and feeling like you re sicker than you probably ever been in your life, said Rasmussen.

Dr. Rasmussen hopes this outbreak will speed up the stalled research for treatment and better yet a vaccine. But other than that, in general, people in Seattle don t need to worry about Ebola virus. Go out and enjoy Seafair, said Rasmussen.

The first vaccine will be tested on humans this fall. The hope is that it will be available by the end of 2015.

The U.S. on Thursday issued a warning against all non-essential travel to Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

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