This year’s outbreak of Ebola in both West Africa and other Western nations has been an increasingly common topic in international news. The disease was introduced to the United States through Thomas Duncan, a Liberian citizen who was visiting the country. He was free of symptoms upon entering the U.S., but was quickly diagnosed, and died approximately a week later. The illness spread from there to several of his health care providers, and other cases have arisen of U.S. care professionals who had been treating patients in West Africa. Since then, political officials have mandated that people entering the United States from West Africa must go through their choice of five airports enforcing Ebola screenings. According to the New York Times, “they have their temperatures taken and are questioned about their possible exposure to Ebola.” However, many people exposed to the disease shortly before travel show no symptoms, as was the case with Duncan. Do you believe that the United States should be more thorough with their screenings? How so? Why or why not?
I think that they should take more time screening, because it takes about three weeks for them to determine if you even have ebola, or start showing symptoms, I think that this might be very difficult to do, but they should hold people back at the airport for three weeks to keep an eye on them. I’ve been talking to my roommate, who’s a nurse, about it, and she said that luckily it’s not hand-to-hand contact that you can get it from, it’s a little bit more difficult than that. But yeah, I think we should definitely be a little bit more thorough, because obviously we haven’t been super successful, since we put anurse who had ebola on a plane. I would definitely encourage to be more thorough, and try to not let things go so easily, maybe be a bit more cautious.
If symptoms do not appear, and there’s no way to know within a week, then I think [these screenings] are pointless, but I think I’m ignorant to how these screenings work. If the symptoms don’t show up when [travellers] arrive, then I don’t see a point, I think they are just bothering people. If it’s not showing up for a week, then why are we making our [defenses] stronger? I don’t think we need stronger ones, but maybe more effective ones that can test specifically for ebola, not just ebola-like symptoms, like if it’s in your body, there must be a way to find it.
I believe that the tests that people get to determine if they have ebola or not have to be stronger, especially because we can [have] fewer tests that are stronger. This is because the data shows that not a lot of people are dying of ebola in the United States, and we have to remember that the United States always has a lack of money, so we have to understand which tests are more effective. Today five airports are doing these tests, and we should leave that the same, but we have to track ebola’s specific symptoms, and not waste time and money, but understand which specific symptoms will cause the spread amongst our citizens. We need to recognize the people who have ebola that are coming from these countries, and cure it right away without wasting time.