An Ebola Update And Travel Advisory

August 20, 2014

Masked Doctors and ShotIf you’ve been following news on the Ebola outbreak, you’ve probably heard about how locals went and “freed” the quarantined Ebola patients, which will probably lead to a new explosion of cases.

If you haven’t been following, you should know it isn’t a pretty picture. There aren’t enough resources to really keep a tight quarantine. Even with hazmat style gear, the outbreak is so severe, and workers so shorthanded, that suits wear out, tear, etc. (“The needs of Ebola patients are greater than our capacity“).

WHO is advising a screening of passengers coming out of infected countries, rushing testing on the new Ebola drugs and vaccines, and sending more aid. But even when we make gains, the virus is still spreading. There may even be a case in Germany (and even if it isn’t, the odds there will be one in Europe soon are very high). Efforts aren’t keeping up with the virulence of this virus. And if it makes it to the US, it will spread like wildfire because no one takes handwashing or sick days seriously.

No one needs to panic, but you should be watching the news and hope for the best, prepare for the worst.

So how is the rest of the world being advised?

If you’re travelling, it’s being suggested that you look into the quarantine policy of your airline. You can also check the CDC’s website for guideline updates.

Wash hands more than usual, interact with fellow travelers less, and generally avoid health care aid workers (while their work is a huge contribution to the whole world, in the interest of keeping things as contained as possible, they are being asked to watch for symptoms and we are being asked to keep a distance).

Most of Africa is still safe to travel to—Ebola is concentrated in the West (for now). Still, if you’re headed anywhere near a hot zone, think about picking up some travel insurance that covers emergency medical transport.

What’s your take on the international game plan? Should we be doing more?

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