WHO declares air travel to West Africa safe, but doctors still concerned

WHO declares air travel to West Africa safe, but doctors still concerned

Despite the World Health Organisation (WHO) declaration that air travel to Ebola-hit countries is safe, some doctors and health experts believe that flights to West Africa should be suspended for additional time on public health grounds.

Director Isabelle Nuttall, of Global Capacity Alert & Response at WHO, advised yesterday against air travel ban to affected countries, arguing that the risk of Ebola transmission on planes is very low.

But, some health experts still believe that continuing to operate flights to the affected countries could lead to further transmission of the deadly disease.

Mbira Gikonyo, a specialist in ear, nose and throat diseases, said Kenya Airways should withdraw all of its scheduled flights to West Africa due to the Ebola risk.

Suggesting an air travel ban, Gikonyo added, "Ebola is a medical 'terrorist' threat because it causes horror and kills. It may not be human but as a threat, it has killed more than Boko Haram in West Africa."

Korean Air Lines (KAL) has already suspended its flights to Nairobi and some other affected countries of Africa due to fears over Ebola outbreak.

According to figures released by the WHO, Ebola outbreak has so far killed more than one thousand people, including hundreds of children, in West Africa. Symptoms of deadly Ebola virus disease include fever, soar throat, headache, muscle pain, nausea, vomiting and severe diarrhea.

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