Calls Grow Louder For Feds To Halt Air Traffic From Ebola-Affected Nations

LOS ANGELES (AP/CBSLA.com) — Ebola has arrived in the United States and people are frightened.

KNX 1070’s Jon Baird reports some Americans are calling on the U.S. government to immediately halt all flights to Liberia and other African nations impacted by the virus.

The nation’s top infectious diseases expert says it’s perfectly normal to feel anxious about a virus that kills so fast and is ravaging parts of West Africa.

“People who are scared, I say, `We don’t take lightly your fear. We respect it. We understand it,”‘ said Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health.

Some airlines such as British Airways have moved to suspend all flights from affected countries, and officials say overall passenger traffic from these areas has dropped.

But Fauci emphasizes that the United States is different from African nations whose fragile health care systems have been overwhelmed by Ebola. Scientists know how to stop the virus from spreading with adequate resources, he says.

In the U.S., Fauci maintains, “We won’t have an outbreak.”

That’s not to say the first Ebola case diagnosed within the United States —  a traveler from Liberia who began feeling the effects after arriving in Dallas — will be the only one.

The government took measures this past week to ensure hospitals are ready and is considering what more should be done.

But CDC Director Thomas Frieden told “CBS This Morning” recent gains are somewhat encouraging.

“One thing that’s encouraging is some signs of progress in the outbreak,” said Frieden. “We’ve seen no more cases in Nigeria, it looks like they’ve stopped it.”

Despite some initial missteps in Dallas, tried-and-true methods are underway: tracking everyone who came into contact with the infected man and isolating anyone who shows symptoms.

Frieden reassured every person leaving the infected West African countries is subject to pre-flight health screenings, according to CBS News.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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