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African countries secured borders to stem Ebola outbreak


Ebola outbreak

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(NaturalNews) A number of African nations have successfully implemented proactive Ebola-containment measures that are more stringent than those currently in place in Europe and the U.S. The Associated Press (AP) reports that countries like Senegal and Nigeria, both of which had reported Ebola cases several months ago, are now believed to be Ebola-free, while other African countries are actively monitoring travelers for possible symptoms to help stem the outbreak from further spreading.

Unlike in the U.S., where air travel from West Africa is still considered to be no big deal, African countries familiar with the devastation that Ebola can cause have been actively securing their borders. In Senegal, for instance, a man with Ebola who had slipped across the border from Guinea was identified and isolated back in August, with no new cases having since emerged. The World Health Organization (WHO) recently declared the country to be Ebola-free.

The same is true in Nigeria, Africa's most populous country. Early on, there were 20 reported cases of Ebola that ended in eight deaths, the result of a Liberian-American man who brought the disease from Liberia. Though the man was believed to have come into contact with as many as 900 people in Nigeria, all of his contacts were quickly identified and the disease was stopped in its tracks. On October 20, WHO declared Nigeria to be Ebola-free.

Ivory Coast and Guinea-Bissau also closed borders to protect against Ebola

Two other countries surrounding the Ebola "hot zone," Ivory Coast and Guinea-Bissau, have taken similar proactive measures to protect against Ebola. Both of these countries share borders with at least one of the most affected countries, which include Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea, so it is only natural for them to pay close attention to who is crossing their borders.

Air travel is also restricted in various other African countries, including in South Africa, Zambia and Kenya, none of which are located near the hot zone. Kenya Airways has reportedly stopped flying to all of the affected countries, and in countries where incoming flights are still allowed, such as Zimbabwe, all incoming travelers must first be monitored for 21 days to root out the possibility that Ebola symptoms will develop.

"The Nigerian government, seeing the epidemic growing in their neighbors over the past several months before the index case arrived in July, responded rapidly by setting up a thorough contact tracing system to identify and follow up all potential cases," stated Adam Levine, an emergency medicine professor at Brown University, to Mashable.com about the situation in Nigeria.

US government still allowing travel from West Africa through five American airports

Meanwhile, authorities in the U.S. have reluctantly imposed minimal travel restrictions, requiring all travelers from West Africa to travel through one of five major U.S. airports. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that, starting this week, travelers from Ebola-stricken countries will have to undergo enhanced security screenings.

The five airports include John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, Newark in New Jersey, Washington-Dulles near D.C., Chicago-O'Hare, and Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta, Georgia. West African travelers coming into these airports will be subject to no-touch temperature checks to look for fevers, a common indicator of Ebola.

"We are working closely with the airlines to implement these restrictions with minimal travel disruption," announced Jeh Johnson, DHS secretary. "If not already handled by the airlines, the few impacted travelers should contact the airlines for rebooking, as needed."

Learn all these details and more at the FREE online Pandemic Preparedness course at www.BioDefense.com

Sources:

http://hosted.ap.org

http://mashable.com

http://www.nbcnews.com

http://science.naturalnews.com

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