Policies need to change to stop Ebola and protect U.S. citizens

Posted By on October 15, 2014

WSJ’s “Ebola’s Deadly Reach” map of locations

I understand our government’s reluctance to over react to the deadly Ebola virus, but disagree with the lack of precautions being taken to prevent the spread by those traveling from Western Africa to the United States … particularly by air.

Commonsense dictates that we expect too much from airport 141010-ebola_0screeners that ask questions and take surface temperatures of those entering the country. The risk of someone arriving who doesn’t have signs of Ebola and may only have come in contact is too high.  Just because they don’t show symptoms when they arrive, doesn’t mean they aren’t transporting the virus. We should at minimum error on the side of caution and temporarily restrict access to the general populace by travelers in the short term, at least until we have a better handle on things. When even the medical workers who know the dangers and take every precaution to wear protective gear are getting infected, having a traveler roaming around because they don’t show symptoms when exiting a flight is not the best way to retard the spread. We don’t know yet, but perhaps even having it on their person or luggage is too high of a risk. A quick read of what experts do know makes it clear that our current policies aren’t good enough.

Slightly Paraphrased below:

The Ebola virus can live longer on hard surfaces than porous – surfaces such as metal and glass. As well, there have been lab studies showing that dried samples of Ebola virus can survive for days; but other studies have found the virus doesn’t survive more than a few hours outside of a host.

It’s important to note that in the tests where the virus lived for days, they were kept in the dark, at low temperatures, around 4 degrees Celsius, which helped the viruses survive.


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