Airlines On Alert Over Ebola Scare In West Africa

Written by Kevin Mwanza

International airlines are once again reconsidering their flights to three West African countries that were affected by the Ebola epidemic following the re-emergence of the disease only days After the Word Health Organization declared the region free of the virus.

Concerns over the spread of Ebola have led a number of airlines flying to Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia to increase health-checks on passengers traveling from the region, according to a Global News Network report.

Several other Airlines across the world and Africa cut their flights to these three countries as an Ebola outbreak that started in March 2014 in a remote village in Guinea. killed over 11,300 people and infector thousands others.

Airlines that resumed their flights to these West African routes include Kenya Airways, Emirates, South Africa Airways, Air Côte d’Ivoire, British Airways and Arik Air

Over 100 people were placed on quarantine in Sierra Leone last week on suspicion they could be infected with Ebola from a woman who died on Jan. 12, two days before WHO declared the outbreak over.

Though the flareup was not the first since the virus was contained almost a year ago, it was the largest ever group of re-infections in the region. The re-emergence of the diseases has raised questions over WHO’s procedures in assessing whether the epidemic was over.

““The risk of reintroduction of infection is diminishing as the virus gradually clears from the survivor population, but we still anticipate more flare-ups and must be prepared for them,” Dr. Bruce Aylward, WHO special representative for the Ebola response, said in a statement.

The disease wiped over $15 billion from the three West African economies, leaving trade, investment and tourism devastated, according to the United Nations.