EBOLA BRINGS OTHER THREATS
The newest epidemic, Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), has everybody buzzing these days. The disease does not only threaten lives. Economies and business as such could even be paralyzed, should the EBOLA epidemic turns into a full scale pandemic. Business travel to and from the countries where the virus is recently active, are mostly affected. Even with all the information available, many people still have a misconception about the EBOLA virus and how it is transmitted.
THE BAND WAGON
Guinea in Western Africa (origin of the recent Ebola outbreak in March 2014), first closed its borders with neighboring countries Sierra Leone and Liberia. The virus started spreading to these countries through free cross border traveling. A separate outbreak occurred in the Democratic Republic of the Congo simultaneously. EBOLA also travelled to other countries such as Senegal, Nigeria and the United States of America. Nigeria and Senegal were declared EVD-free by the World Health Organization (WHO) in October. This still doesn’t quite reassure business travelers of the EBOLA threat. Jamaica, the Harvard University and others also jumped on the band wagon of banishing travelling to and from EBOLA affected areas.
WHO’S RESPONSABILITY IS IT ANYWAY?
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are the principal role-players in the EBOLA saga. Most countries implemented certain precautions and help lines themselves by now. Worldwide airlines and governments went through great trouble educating their citizens on EBOLA and Business travel. We all as individuals also have a great responsibility towards ourselves as well as the general public to avoid spreading of the disease.
Both the WHO and CDC promise to do everything possible to contain this monster. An Emergency Operations Center (EOC) was opened by the CDC to assist in Western Africa, where numerous public health experts were deployed. In collaboration with Customs & Border Patrol in the USA, the CDC provided certain protocols and guidelines in handling ill passengers and airline crew as well as disinfecting the airplane. The CDC advised travelers to avoid all nonessential travel to West African countries like Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, which is a Level 3 warning, while Nigeria currently is on a level 1 travel notice.
EBOLA TRAVEL INFORMATION:
1. Affected Countries: http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/outbreaks/2014-west-africa/distribution-map.html#areas
2. WHO: www.who.int/csr/disease/ebola/en/
3. About Ebola Virus Disease: http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/about.html
4. Exposure Risk: http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/exposure/index.html
5. Transmission: http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/transmission/index.html
6. Disease Prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/prevention/idex.html
7. Symptoms and signs: http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/symptoms/index.html
Author: Maritha Koortzen
The author currently writes to newspapers mainly on Health and Social Issues. She also talks at Ladies Events about Health and Wellness.
Feel free to contact her for any free lance writing.