The amount of worldwide air vacationers has elevated quickly in latest many years. Within the early 1990s, about 500 million individuals crossed worldwide borders yearly on industrial flights. [1] In 2013 alone, greater than three billion passengers traveled through home and worldwide flights worldwide. [2] These modifications within the accessibility, velocity, and quantity of air vacationers suggests an more and more related world tradition which has broad implications for illness unfold.

Historical past of Journey and Illness[edit]

Human journey and illness unfold have wealthy and related origins. Following the 5 week voyage of Christopher Columbus to the New World in 1492, illness unfold was rampant. Europeans introduced ailments reminiscent of smallpox, measles, and typhus to which the Native People had no immunity. [3] It’s estimated that 80 to 90 p.c of Native People have been killed from publicity to those ailments inside 150 years of Columbus’ voyage. [4] Technological modifications that facilitate flexibility of motion, reminiscent of boats, trains, and airplanes, have grow to be a potent drive for illness emergence and unfold. New types of journey carry people across the globe at volumes and speeds unprecedented in historical past. This mixing of human populations has led to the geographic dispersion of infectious ailments. [1]

Worldwide and historic illness outbreaks, reminiscent of through the Columbian Change, occurred when lengthy distance transportation was laborious, costly and comparatively sluggish. Thus, geographic mobility of huge scale populations was uncommon. Springing ahead, over the past two centuries exponential will increase in spatial mobility have occurred. [5] Alongside these modifications in motion, problems with illness prevention, unfold, and remedy on a global scale have been dropped at the forefront.

Ebola Outbreak[edit]

The Ebola virus was first found following worldwide outbreaks within the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Sudan within the late 1970s. [6][7][8] Human transmission of the virus sometimes happens through direct contact with blood or bodily fluids from an contaminated particular person. [9] Almost 40 years later, in Could of 2014, probably the most widespread and deadliest Ebola outbreak in West Africa was reported. By late November of 2014, the reported dying toll totaled practically 5,700 people spanning six nations: Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, the USA and Mali. [10] The latest Ebola outbreak has sparked conversations about banning worldwide flights from Ebola contaminated nations with the hopes of decreasing illness unfold. This case has caused two distinct sides: those that assist air journey ban and those that oppose air journey ban.


Opposition to Air Journey Ban[edit]

Opponents to the air journey ban are well being specialists and professionals who present rational arguments and options to cease the unfold of Ebola to the U.S. Contributors on this group typically are extra specialised within the area of infectious illness and able to implementing technical options.

Middle for Illness Management and Prevention[edit]

Middle for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC), the nationwide public well being institute of the Unites States, helps higher monitoring and screening passengers on the airport, however opposes an air journey ban. The director of the CDC, Tom Frieden, acknowledged “We do not need to isolate elements of the world, or individuals who aren’t sick, as a result of that is going to drive sufferers with Ebola underground, making it infinitely harder to handle the outbreak.” [11]

World Well being Group[edit]

The World Well being Group (WHO), much like the CDC, opposes bans on worldwide journey or commerce, however suggested nations to be ready to detect, examine, and handle Ebola instances. WHO states that the danger of Ebola transmission throughout air journey is low. [12]

President Obama[edit]

President Obama has voiced his issues about banning flights from West Africa. In his weekly tackle on October 18th of 2014, Obama acknowledged that “Attempting to seal off a complete area of the world, if that have been even doable, might truly make the state of affairs worse.” [13] President Obama agrees with the CDC and opposes an air journey ban. He thinks one of the simplest ways to comprise the unfold of Ebola is at its supply with the assist of medical professionals. Blocking air journey would impede the transport of those professionals and provides. Whereas he’s involved in regards to the unfold of Ebola to the U.S., he should additionally contemplate international relations with Ebola contaminated nations. He reminds the general public that if we’re guided by science, information, and never concern, then we will stop a critical Ebola outbreak within the U.S. [13]

Worldwide Airline Firms[edit]

Many worldwide airline corporations are against a flight ban as a result of they’re monetary stakeholders. The founding father of The Aviation Legislation Agency outdoors of Washington D.C., Greg Winton, acknowledged that mass flight restrictions “could have a big impact financially, definitely on the entire economic system, not simply the aviation sector.” [14] Nonetheless, worldwide airline corporations will not be solely involved about their enterprise, but additionally stopping the unfold of the Ebola. A spokesman for Airways for America acknowledged that they “agree with the White Home that discussions of flight bans will not be vital and truly impede efforts to cease the illness in its tracks in West Africa.” [14]

Assist for Air Journey Ban[edit]

Many supporters of the air journey ban are people who’re appearing based mostly on concern and/or their very own private beliefs.

Authorities Officers[edit]

Fred Upton, a Republican from Michigan, believes air journey bans from West Africa are one of the best resolution to cease the worldwide unfold of Ebola. [15] Upton believes that airport screening of passengers is inadequate to cease the unfold of Ebola to the U.S., as a result of 21 day symptomless incubation interval of the virus. Passengers can even evade screenings by taking ibuprofen to cut back their fever.

Non-Specialist People[edit]

Non-specialist people, reminiscent of protesters in Washington D.C., have voiced their assist for an air journey ban. Donald Trump, an energetic participant on social media, has voiced his fiery opinions on Twitter. Examples of Trump’s tweets are: “Cease the EBOLA sufferers from getting into the U.S. Deal with them, on the highest stage, over there. THE UNITED STATES HAS ENOUGH PROBLEMS!”, “The U.S. should instantly cease all flights from EBOLA contaminated nations or the plague will begin and unfold inside our ‘borders.’ Act quick!”, and “Cease flights into the U.S. from West Africa instantly!”.[16] Trump’s arguments are emotionally-based and fear-driven.


The media not directly helps the air journey ban by creating a way of hazard, concern, and panic within the public. Sensationalized studies can lure the general public into supporting the flight ban. The media’s affect on public perceptions is aided via widespread accessibility and dramatized information accounts. People who lack technical data are particularly vulnerable to the media’s affect.


Germ Panic[edit]

Germ panic is a psychological phenomenon characterised by normal anxiousness, uncertainty, and the potential for irrational habits as a result of concern of an unknown illness. Within the Ebola flight banning case, mass media performs a significant position in shaping the general public’s response and selling germ panic. [17] The media is able to difficult the authority of well being professionals with scare statistics, sensationalist titles, and “it-could-happen-to-anyone” situations. [17][18] Examples embody headlines like “Ebola: ‘The ISIS of Organic Brokers?’” and “Ebola within the air? A nightmare that would actually occur” from CNN and “Nurses in security gear received Ebola, why wouldn’t you?” from the Related Press. [19] These actions by the media will not be pushed by malevolence however fairly an understanding that the thought of a pandemic sells. In a aggressive shopper tradition, media makes use of concern to seize the general public’s curiosity and promote their information, which not directly promotes germ panic. [18]

Parallels to the Purple Scare[edit]

Senator Joseph McCarthy was an influential political determine through the 1950s. McCarthy was infamous for his use and exploitation of concern to realize recognition and assist as a politician and promote his personal self-interests. The rise of the phrases Purple Scare and McCarthyism have been a direct results of his techniques. When investigating the rise and fall of McCarthy, one historian claimed that McCarthy was so efficient as a result of he had “entry to the darkish locations of the American thoughts” [20]. He understood that People have been most afraid of a communist invasion or infiltration of the USA authorities. Geared up with this concern, McCarthy was capable of lead anti-communist crusades. Though these crusades weren’t fact-based, he was nonetheless capable of wreck the careers of a few of his opponents within the course of. Very similar to with germ panic, concern trumped motive within the case of McCarthy and the Purple Scare.

Parallels to Homeland Safety and 9/11[edit]

The USA Division of Homeland Safety (DHS) was fashioned in 2002 in response to the terrorist assaults on September 11, 2001. Since then, DHS funding has risen dramatically, rising from $19.5 to $66 billion between 2002 and 2009. [21] Funding elevated partly due to pressures from the American public. In a July 2007 Gallup ballot, 47 p.c of the general public was apprehensive that they or somebody they knew would grow to be a sufferer of terrorism. Authorities companies, just like the DHS, management each the creation and the interpretation of terrorist risk info. This info monopoly creates an extreme stage of concern within the public, but it surely protects the mission of the DHS. Policymakers generate and make use of concern of terrorism to promote their coverage to voters. [22]

The Energy of Worry[edit]

Worry offers energy to the inconceivable and a platform to the minority. Though the possibilities of an Ebola pandemic, terrorist assault, or communist invasion are minute, we’re pressured to think about these inconceivable situations as a result of the implications are so giant. The concern related to these occasions allowed McCarthy to mark his place in American historical past together with his communist witch-hunts, and it enabled the massive funding will increase for the Division of Homeland Safety. This identical concern supplies the platform for media to promote their merchandise to shoppers.

Future analysis for increasing this chapter might examine stigmatization of sure teams on account of germ panic. Future analysis for creating a brand new chapter might examine the position of media and promoting in transmitting public well being messages.


  1. ab Wilson, M.E. 1995. Journey and the emergence of infectious ailments.
  2. Air transport, passengers carried. The World Financial institution.
  3. Denevan, William M. 1976. Introduction to The Native Inhabitants of the Americas in 1492, ed. William M. Denevan, 1–12. Madison: College of Wisconsin Press
  4. Newson, Linda. 2001. Pathogens, Locations and Peoples. In Know-how, Illness and Colonial Conquests, Sixteenth to Eighteenth Centuries, ed. George Raudzens, 167–210. Boston: Brill.
  5. Haggett, P. 1994. Geographical Points of the Emergence of Infectious Illnesses. Geografiska Annaler. Collection B, Human Geography, 76(2), 91–104.
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  10. Ebola: Mapping the Outbreak. BBC.
  11. CDC Chief: Why I do not assist a journey ban to fight Ebola outbreak
  12. WHO: Air journey is low-risk for Ebola transmission
  13. ab Weekly Deal with: What You Have to Know About Ebola. (2014).
  14. ab Berenson, T. (2014, October 17). Why Airways and the CDC Oppose Ebola Flight Bans. Time. Retrieved from
  15. An Ebola journey ban can be fully unprecedented — This is why
  16. Donald J. Trump Tweeter Account
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  18. ab Tomes, N. “The making of a germ panic, then and now”. American Journal of Public Well being. February 2000.
  19. Parrish, R. “9 absurd Ebola headlines that show the media has gone over the sting”. Tech Instances. October 2014.
  20. Rovere, R. “Senator Joe McCarthy” April, 1996
  21. US Division of Homeland Safety. DHS Funds.
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