In an article published in a scientific journal one month ago, an international team of scientists correctly predicted Ebola would reach the United States by the end of September, arguing a reduction in airline travel of as much as 80 percent would only delay the international spread of the disease by three to four weeks at most.
The study, published in the scientific journal PLOS Currents: Outbreaks, used data supplied by the World Health Organization on the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
The study noted the near impossibility of completely ending air travel from Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, the three West African countries most affected by the disease. It pointed out that airlines that have discontinued flights continue to assist West African travelers by booking them on other airlines.
“We have explored the scenario assuming an 80 percent airline traffic flow reduction to and from the West African region that provided evidence of a general time-delay of the distribution characterizing the probability of case importation of about three to four weeks,” the scientists said.
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