Ebola is traveling around the world. In West Africa, more than 3,000 people have died from the disease in recent weeks. A nursing assistant in Spain is fighting for her life and it killed a man in Dallas, Texas on Wednesday. New Mexico residents are starting to question whether or not they should be worried of the deadly disease since it is right next door.
Ebola expert Dr. Toby L. Merlin addressed the disease during a lecture at the University of New Mexico. Merlin is the head of the Center for Disease Control’s infectious disease response coordination. Merlin and his team are currently working on containing the disease in Africa. He says if that is possible the chance of the disease spreading to the U.S. and New Mexico is very unlikely.
Merlin explained how Ebola isn’t transmitted like a normal disease:
“Ebola spreads only by direct person-to-person contact. It doesn’t spread through the air and diseases that spread through the air like measles or influenza are much greater risk.”
The New Mexico Department of Health stays if the Ebola virus were to make it into New Mexico they are prepared. They have set up necessary steps at all hospitals if someone were to walk in showing symptoms of the disease. The NM DOH also mentioned that New Mexico residents don’t need to be as concerned considering none of the state’s airports have international flights.
At five U.S. airports, Customs and Border Protection agents have started screening passenger coming from West Africa. Two of the airports selected are JFK and Chicago’s O’Hare. They were chosen based on the number of international travelers they have.