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Saturday, 4 October 2014

First USA-Developed Ebola Case, UK Has Third Highest Risk Globally

Bushmeat from bats, antelopes, porcupines and monkeys eaten in West Africa can be a source of Ebola
Bushmeat eaten in West Africa can be a source of Ebola


This news is from America, but the threat is present in Britain too.

There has been a first case of Ebola diagnosed within the United States, and it's a man from Liberia who should not have been in the US, named Thomas Eric Duncan. He is now being treated in a Dallas hospital, in Texas, isolated and in critical conditions.

His is the first case of someone developing Ebola outside the tropics. Mr Duncan was infected in Liberia and became ill after flying to Dallas.

The UK magazine New Scientist claims:
Epidemiologists have been warning that this could happen since early in the Ebola outbreak, which is concentrated in three countries in western Africa, and say the risk will only increase as cases start to skyrocket.
Jessica Vaughan of the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) in the USA explains why the man's visa should have never been issued:
Duncan is a 40-something, single, unemployed Liberian who applied sometime in the last year for a visa to visit his sister in the United States.

That is five strikes against his application:

1.Single
2.Unemployed
3.Liberian (5th highest overstay rate of any country in the world)
4.Has recently resided outside of his country of citizenship, displaying weak ties there
5.Sister living in the United States.

Together, all these factors should have weighed very heavily against the issuance of a visitor's visa to Duncan. He clearly appears unqualified.

In 2013, more than 3,500 non-immigrant visas were issued to Liberians. This number has grown steadily since 2009, when just over 1,300 were issued. Most are issued to tourists and business travelers. A relatively high percentage do not return, but settle here illegally to join a well-established Liberian community (many of whom have won green cards in the visa lottery). [Emphasis added]
In addition to the high risk that Mr Duncan presented of overstaying his visa due to his weak ties outside the USA, his coming from Liberia, one of the countries most afflicted by the current Ebola outbreak - the worst in history -, should have dictated extra precaution.
Reportedly, travelers to the United States are simply being questioned about their contact with infected people and are checked for a fever. In contrast, three African countries (Namibia, Kenya, and Zambia) have banned travelers from the countries that are experiencing the outbreak (Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea).
But, despite a letter from congressman Alan Grayson suggesting that for the duration of the outbreak the US should bar from entry citizens of the Ebola-stricken countries and any foreign national who visited one of them within 90 days before seeking entry to the United States, Obama doesn't seem interested in controlling immigration in the face of any danger to homeland security, be it terrorism, foreign criminal cartels, or a deadly epidemic.

A comment to the article on the CIS site quoted above showed no hope in the Obama administration:
Our government is failing us. Nothing new though. It has been going on for 6 years now.
The UK is in an even worse situation:
Alessandro Vespignani of Northeastern University in Boston and his colleagues have rated the risk of different countries around the world importing cases of Ebola. After Ghana and Gambia, the UK has the third highest risk globally because of the large number of people and flights from the epidemic region to London.

In September, the risk for importing a case to the UK was around 25 per cent, and slightly less for the US.

On the lookout

Doctors and hospitals in the UK have been told to be on the lookout for possible cases, says Peter Piot of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. [Emphasis added]
But so far, efforts in Britain seem to be focused on helping the countries of West Africa and discussing what the global community can do to provide an effective international response, and not on barring from entry to the UK people from the Ebola-stricken countries.

1 comment:

  1. Grayson is a Democrat and a major jerk.

    ReplyDelete