If Nigerians Can So Can Americans Conquer Ebola Hysteria – By Farouk Martins Aresa

Americans stand more chances of dying from Flu, Avian or Enterovirus and even lightning than from Ebola. The fear is few might die from the public anxiety of Ebola than from the disease as Duncan’s U.S family proved healthy after 21 days quarantine. The risks are to close families and healthcare workers. Ebola has developed Avian virus flying wings in U.S.A political campaign far more than in Nigeria where parties united to conquer Ebola outbreak but fight for credit after.

An American citizen infected with Ebola virus flew from Liberian into Lagos airport where he was immediately noticed and taken straight to a private hospital. It was too late, resulting in the death of about eight of the twenty eventually infected. Most of who were doctors, nurses and aides. Nigerian became more vigilant but never closed its borders. Yet American politicians are pointing to few African countries closing borders to people of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

The hysteria got louder after the second Ebola infection of another nurse as a result of Eric Tom Duncan death in United States Hospital. Africans must prepare for politicians to ban travelers to U.S from West Africa or Africa. To calm nerves, the good doctor Tom Freiden, Director of Center for Disease Control warned that we should learn from the fear of AIDS. Many in Public Health   remember and understand exactly his concern as irrational behaviors prevented treatment.  

President Obama decided to send troops to Africa to open 17 health centers, he was ridiculed in mid Sept for not sending troops to Iraq instead. Before Duncan came to U.S; Congresswoman Diana DeGette, called for a hearing before recess, she was ignored. As soon as hysteria replaced Ebola science, they jumped on it wondering aloud why Obama never acted earlier. See DeGette

If United States banned travelers from Africa, they cannot ban Americans traveling back and forth. Even if they ban Americans from coming back home from Africa, they cannot ban those in Africa that travel to other parts of the world before going home. If they locked up the borders, Americans will still travel out on business to other continents. The only option left is for other continents to isolate Africa. Even then, more deadly Flu or bird virus travels without passports.

Their hysteria has created myths equal to African superstitions about the Ebola disease. Cut and anxiety are championed by the same Party that cut NIH, CDC budget, deny the poor Obamacare.    Our fear has to be measured so that we do not divert limited resources where there is no fact to substantiate the source of Ebola, to the detriment of other diseases for another alarm later.  

Fear is not necessarily bad in itself because it alerts us to danger but we must be rational not to appeal to it and ignore our intellect. Extra precaution at the airports where most Africans get in would not have caught Duncan, it is only reassuring to prevent hysteria for political purpose.  

Opportunistic politicians have ways of solving problem by banning them with a heavy slam the same way they criminalize little offences by three strikes. Banned AIDS patients, alcohol, close programs provided by government until they need government services. In United States, they shut down Government and asked poor Park Officer to be ashamed for closing Memorial Park.

We must heed Dr. Frieden advice. Indeed, the good doctor reinstated that the way to stop Ebola from coming to America is to stop it in Africa the same way Nigerians have stopped it in Lagos. In order not to resurrect the fear of AIDS and indifferent statements that stigmatized those that were infected then, other specialist had to come out and interpreted what the good doctor was “trying” to say. Many had said so including this writer:  See his articles

It will be difficult if not impossible in this political climate in United States for African Ebola patients to seek treatment in the Country. All the medical scientists that have spoken out about the futility of banning flights from Africa have been labelled as Obama Administration stooges. Regardless of the facts that are presented by both international organizations and other world respected opinions including that of Dr. Piot of London School of Hygiene that discovered Ebola.

Germany has taken three Africans. One, a 56-year- Abdel Fadeel Mohammed Basheer Sudanese laboratory technician at the United Nations Mission in Liberia died at a hospital in Leipzig. The second patient is an Ugandan doctor that worked in West Africa for an Italian aid organization, still receives treatment at a hospital in Frankfurt. The third is a Senegalese man, worked for the World Health Organization, was treated in Hamburg and released. He has since returned home.

Healthcare workers on daily contact with Ebola patients are more at risk as demonstrated by two nurses on self-monitoring, diagnosed with Ebola virus in Texas, than the public. Even when the chances of a Dallas sheriff deputy who went to serve a quarantine notice in the apartment Eric Thomas stayed after he had been admitted in the hospital, of getting infected with Ebola infection was almost zero, caution had to be taken after he complained of stomach pain.

Nursing Association has come out to say the protective gear did not cover all parts of their body. No matter how we tried, human and yes, even medical experts might inadvertently get infected. In other words, these nurses could have been infected by anyone coming with a virus into United States through Europe, Asia or Australia. A ban against Africans coming from Africa could not have prevented it, including during the process of removing their protective gear.

Again, Duncan U.S family around him suggests it is hard to get Ebola: vindicating scientific facts.  Infectious diseases have been taunted as a biological warfare. But chances are it will explode in terrorists faces first before it reaches the intended destination. Ebola use at USA borders is a new political hysteria. Politicians look for every opportunity to capitalize on fear into votes and blame government for the same problems they created by cutting funding. 

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