Are People Panicking Over Ebola For No Reason?
A week or so ago I wrote a blog about how Missoula's St. Patrick Hospital is only one of 4 medical care facilities in the United States that are considered "Ebola ready". That is to say they have accommodations for up to 3 patients infected with the Ebola virus. Many listeners commenting on that blog were dead set against anyone infected with the virus coming to Montana which is quite understandable given the mortality rate of the disease.
That said I wonder if given the facts (1 dead, 2 others infected in the entire nation) if we as Americans have overreacted to Ebola. Some have called for a travel ban on flights from West Africa but of course there are no direct flights to the United States from Liberia or Sierra Leone (the most affected countries). Furthermore health experts in the area of infectious diseases have said that a travel ban would not only be ineffective but may actually be counterproductive as it would limit the movements of health care workers travelling back and forth between the U.S. and West Africa. Since there is a magnitude of a lack of health care workers in that part of the world experts fear a travel ban may actually cause the disease to spread further.
There is a lot of understandable fear and unfortunately those who would play upon that fear for election year gain. The best editorial I've heard about this so far comes from Fox News Shepard Smith: