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Are Ebola Travel Restrictions A Misstep in Obama’s Fight to Stop a Disease?

When a initial box of Ebola was detected in Nigeria this summer, Jeffrey Hawkins, a U.S. Consul General in Lagos, pronounced that an conflict there could turn an “apocalyptic civic outbreak. The final thing anyone in a universe wants to hear is a dual words, ‘Ebola’ and ‘Lagos,’ in a same sentence,” Hawkins said in July.

Americans yawned, positive that if Ebola did somehow make it to their shores, a world’s richest nation would quick and simply exterminate it from a borders. “The United States had overconfidence in their ability to stop it,” pronounced David Dausey, a Yale-trained epidemiologist who works on determining pandemics and who is vanguard of a School of Health Professions and Public Health during Mercyhurst University.

However, Hawkins and others had copiousness of reason to worry about Africa’s most-populous country, Nigeria, that had 20 Ebola cases and 8 deaths. Lagos, with some 21 million residents, is a continent’s biggest city.

In addition, 49 percent of Lagos state’s race lives in misery in slums with small sanitation. Making matters worse is that doctors detected an Ebola box in Port Harcourt, another intensely bad area where a infancy of people live in shanties with almost nonexistent sanitation (keep in mind, a illness is widespread by corporeal fluids).

And it was not only lives during risk. As FP reported in August, an conflict in Nigeria had a intensity to fleece West Africa’s economy.

Nigeria seemed like a ideal petri plate for a pathogen to grow. That’s what creates a World Health Organization’s proclamation that “Nigeria is now giveaway of Ebola pathogen transmission” a large service in a quarrel to stop a pestilence that began in Dec 2013.

That WHO announcement reveals an classification that seems to be in disbelief. In a conditions assessment, a WHO called it a “spectacular success story” that prevented “potentially a many bomb Ebola conflict imaginable.”

So how did Nigeria, a nation with bad public-health infrastructure and a GDP of $510 billion, conduct to enclose a illness when a United States, a nation with worldly public-health infrastructure and a GDP of $17.3 trillion, could not?

First, a bit of luck: Nigeria’s “patient zero,” a male from Liberia, collapsed in a Lagos airport, creation it easier to brand those unprotected to a disease.

“What helped Nigeria is that they quick traced a source of a virus,” pronounced Richard Downie, an consultant on Nigeria during a Center for Strategic and International Studies. “The fact that he collapsed in a airfield was good fitness in a good way.”

However, Downie credits Nigeria, a nation not famous for concurrent or effective movement during a inhabitant turn (see the fight conflicting Boko Haram), for what came next.

“What tender me a many about a response, and rather astounded me given Nigeria’s lane record in traffic with other crises, is that they were so consummate about it,” Downie said. “They quick amassed a list of anyone who might have come into strike with a index case. They strike a streets. They had a quick response, came adult with a plan, and did a legwork on a ground.”

According to a WHO, a public-health village knew an conflict in Nigeria was a intensity disaster. As shortly a initial box was discovered, a WHO, a CDC, and other supervision officials “reached 100 percent of famous contacts in Lagos and 99.8 percent during a second conflict site, in Port Harcourt, Nigeria’s oil hub.”

Isolation wards were afterwards created, followed by diagnosis facilities. People who attempted to shun were digitally tracked and returned to isolation. Doctors Without Borders and a WHO quick lerned internal doctors to provide a disease. And while Nigeria’s public-health complement is poor, it’s not nonexistent; assist groups have been user to exterminate polio there for years.

In an talk with Time magazine, Faisal Shuaib, a alloy during Nigeria’s Ebola Emergency Operation Center, also pronounced that interlude open panic was instrumental.

“People began to comprehend that constrictive Ebola was not indispensably a genocide sentence,” Shuaib said. “Emphasizing that stating early to a sanatorium boosts presence gave comfort that [a person] has some turn of control over a illness prognosis.” Shuaib combined that gripping Nigerian borders open — a conflicting of a plan being thrown around in Washington right now — helped to enclose panic.

On a other hand, a United States has finished roughly a finish conflicting of Nigeria. It took 11 days to diagnose Thomas Eric Duncan with Ebola after he was incited divided from a sanatorium 6 days after a Liberian’s attainment in Dallas. Amid questions about either medical crew were scrupulously lerned to provide a disease, dual nurses who treated Duncan, Nina Pham and Amber Joy Vinson, engaged it. Vinson was authorised to travel round-trip to Cleveland, notwithstanding stating a heat to a CDC, that has been on a heels given Ebola arrived in America.

Meanwhile, a domestic efforts to encourage a American open have been inconsistent; on Friday, President Barack Obama allocated Ron Klain, a domestic user with no public-health experience, to coordinate a government’s response. The Pentagon created a 30-person medical crew group to sight people to provide a virus. Politicians continue to call for a travel ban, while wire news covers a 3 cases as if they paint a inhabitant outbreak.

Nigeria’s success “is a first-class effort,” Downie said. “There’s a lot here for other countries to learn, including a United States.”

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images

Article source: http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2014/10/21/are_ebola_travel_restrictions_a_misstep_in_obama_s_fight_to_stop_the_disease

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