OK first off let me apologize for that rather inflammatory headline, sometimes my Editors get ahead of themselves.
Over the next few weeks we are going to find out if anyone was infected on that Frontier Airlines aircraft carrying a nurse with Ebola. But the real story is that there will inevitably be more of these flights in the months ahead. That’s how diseases spread.
It’s really scary stuff. Panic and hysteria seem to be hitting the airwaves in the United States, with travel being a main concern. So I’m here to separate the fact and fiction for you.
I remember traveling to Malaysia when SARS was taking a large toll on Hong Kong. Not only was everyone worried about traveling to Hong Kong or flying Cathay Pacific but they also worried about even visiting Asia be cause there were concerns that countries weren’t telling the truth about how many infectious cases they were dealing with.
This all seems a little déjà vu. Thank god with SARS it just stopped dead in the winter and was able to be wrestled under control. This does not really seem to be the case with Ebola.
With that said are we over reacting or are we okay to travel?
So far I think we are over reacting. However, airport screening must take a more important role.
Recently the United States decided to screen people at JFK and Chicago airports just by checking their temperature as they arrive. This was being done in countries like China and Thailand before Ebola, as a precaution for Yellow Fever, a return of SARS or other infectious diseases.
The problem is, checking upon arrival is simply too late. So why not this?
Thanks to the fear of terrorism certain airports will do extra screening for flights coming into the United States. When I fly from Hong Kong to the United States there is always an extra level of security before you board the plane. They randomly pick out certain passengers to go through a secondary or even third bag check.
So I believe more screening can be done in airports of infected areas. In every airport, take the temperature of passengers before anyone travels rather than upon arrival. Of course we know Ebola has a long incubation period but this one step would add to the theater of safety which dominates air security.
This would ease chaos and help to return a level of comfort to the American people. Right now infectious disease experts tell us the worse thing to do would be to fully isolate the West African countries where Ebola is the biggest concern, but we can do a better job of preventing it’s spread.
Daniel Green, the Model Cook is a Celebrity Chef known for his healthy approach to food and living well. With TV, books, magazines and live appearances, Daniel spends his time helping fans to cook better, feel better and live better. He’s also an avid traveler and a self-confessed Foodie.