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Ebola and risk

October 30, 2014

The bad scenario with Ebola is not that it much threatens the US directly, but that it becomes endemic in some of the poor, urban areas of the world, killing millions and shutting down trade. The only way to address that risk is to stop the outbreaks at their source. Which is why the medical personnel and public health scientists fighting it are opposed to the travel bans pushed by US politicians stirring up panic. As a recent editorial in NEJM puts it:

A cynic would say that all these “facts” are derived from observation and that it pays to be 100% safe and to isolate anyone with a remote chance of carrying the virus. What harm can that approach do besides inconveniencing a few health care workers? We strongly disagree. Hundreds of years of experience show that to stop an epidemic of this type requires controlling it at its source.

If you know anyone who has worked against this disease abroad, thank them for their dedication and service. If any politician on your ballot is stirring up fear, vote against them.

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