The Ebola virus has made a lot of people scared to travel. This is bad news for the travel industry, which was just starting to get back on its feet. In fact, this Ebola outbreak has so many people scared of flying that stocks for airlines have been crashing around the world.
On Monday, Oct. 13, shares for United Airlines fell 8 percent, American Airlines declined 6 percent, Delta Air Lines dropped 7 percent, Southwest Airlines fell 5 percent and JetBlue decreased 5 percent. Overall, American Airlines has seen its stock price drop a whopping 19 percent over the past few days.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been doing all it can to keep the travel industry alive and avoid an economic downturn. In fact, the CDC rejected calls that suggested that lawmakers impose a travel ban as a way to keep the Ebola outbreak from leaving West Africa. The agency said that such a ban could actually make things worse. This is because aid workers travelling from other countries, including the United States, won’t be able to travel to West Africa to keep the virus from spreading even further. Without the help of these aid workers, West Africa simply doesn’t have the technology and manpower to handle the Ebola outbreak.
Also on Monday, the second Ebola patient in Dallas, Texas, was made known to the public. She is 26-year-old Nina Pham, one of the nurses who cared for deceased Ebola patient Thomas Eric. She works at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital. Of course, the outbreak made its way to more than the United States; it has also hit Spain.
To be fair, the Ebola scare is not just affecting the airline industry. It is affecting other industries, including cruise lines. Carnival Cruises reported that it has seen a fall in its shares, which followed an announcement from British Airways that it has also seen a fall in shares.
From here on out, the travel industry will be keeping a close eye on details regarding the Ebola virus. Since there is no cure for the virus, the death rate for people who have come into contact with it is nearly 90 percent. This is proving to be one of the most deadly strains of Ebola that has ever been found. With the death count reaching into the thousands, this is also the worst Ebola outbreak in history.