After an American returned home to Dallas, Texas, on Oct. 3 with the Ebola virus, many people have been screaming for the government to ban all flights to Africa as a way to keep the Ebola virus from getting to America. However, it appears that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is warning the government not to ban flights.
Tom Frieden, the director of the CDC, said on Saturday, Oct. 4, that imposing a travel ban to keep people from travelling to Africa is only going to make the problem worse. This is because countries that share a border with Africa will have a much more difficult time imposing such bans. Also, it is going to prevent aid works from flying into Africa to give necessary medical aid to the people who need it.
The Ebola outbreak in Africa is one of the worst that the world has ever seen. As of Saturday, the death toll drew closer to 3,500 victims. Aid workers are trying their best to get into the country to help save as many lives as possible.
Frieden said that the ability of aid workers to get into Africa is going to be delayed if America starts banning flights into African countries. In most cases, this will delay people from getting to Africa by about a week. This is because aid workers will have to fly to other countries that have not banned flights. People need to be clear that helping other countries in need does not inadvertently increase the risk of people getting sick in the United States. Banning all flights makes it harder for aid workers to get to Africa, making the outbreak even worse than it already is. Trying to simply protect “ourselves” increases everyone’s risk in the long run.
The CDC believes very strongly that the best way to fight the virus is to attack it at its source, which is West Africa. The only way to keep this virus from spreading to other people around the world is to kill it where it started: ground zero.
Although there is fear that several people in the United States have the Ebola virus, there still remains only one confirmed case of the disease by the CDC: Thomas Eric from Dallas. Frieden said, however, that other physicians have diagnosed several patients as potential carriers of the virus, which is as it should be. Right now, there are well over 100 inquiries of patients that might have the virus. However, only one patient has tested positive by the CDC so far.