RadioMD: The Dr. Leigh Vinocur Show

Would Travel Bans Help or Hindrance the Fight Against Ebola?

October 24, 20149 min
The World Health Organization (WHO) is against any travel ban with West African countries that have been affected by Ebola.When the first outbreak of Ebola happened in Western Africa, you might have felt little concern since it seemed so far away. However, moths have past and more cases have been popping up in the U.S and Europe, which may be increasing your panic and a demand that something must be done to contain the virus.Some say it's essential to restrict flights from Africa in order to decrease the chances of more cases in the United States. Others say not only will it not help, but it could hurt the situation in Africa.There are currently several screening protocols in five of the major U.S. airports (O'Hare International, Newark Liberty International, Kennedy International, Washington Dulles International, and Hartsfield-Jackson International). The screening protocol includes taking temperatures and asking people flying in from Western African if they might have been exposed to Ebola.If someone is coming from West Africa, there are no direct flights to America. Usually, you have to stop in other cities and countries to transfer flights. Experts fear that if there is a travel ban, it will cause other people to find other ways to travel that are less monitored.What else could be done about preventing the spread in West Africa and current outbreaks in the United States?Rade B. Vukmir, MD and David C. Pigott, MD discuss if a travel ban would be helpful or hurtful in fighting Ebola.

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