Ebola in New Jersey

New Jersey’s Newark airport is one of only five U.S. airports now accepting travelers from New Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, the three regions most strongly hit by the Ebola virus. With passengers being carefully screened, there are new concerns about Ebola in New Jersey and the effects it could have should it spread throughout the area.

In response to those concerns Governor Chris Christie has created an Ebola response team in case the disease begins to spread throughout his state.

In a public statement Christie asked that the public resist “hysteria” over an Ebola breakout. “We need to be responsible and cautious when talking about Ebola,” Christie said. “It’s not helpful to add to the hysteria.”

The press conference occurred less than 24 hours after a West African man arrived at Newark Liberty International Airport from Brussels and showed signs of the virus. The man was deemed to be asymptomatic, and he is still being questioned along with his wife.

Christie admits that he is not empowered to start a travel ban from regions stricken by the outbreak, although he believes such a ban should be considered as conditions in West Africa continue to worsen.

Newark is one of only five airports in the United States that is currently equipped with extra equipment and employee training meant to spot and quickly diagnose the disease before it spreads. Approximately 155 people enter the United States from the ravaged African regions on a daily basis.

When asked about travel bans from Ebola infected areas Christie told reporters, “That’s a decision that has to be taken by the president. Every step should be taken that can protect public health in the United States.”

On October 15 Chris Christie claimed during a call-in radio show interview that President Barack Obama was not acting in a decisive manner to deal with the Ebola breakout. Shortly afterwards President Obama appointed Ron Klain as the head of a U.S. response effort.

9,911 people in West Africa have now been infected with the Ebola virus, and more than 4,400 people have died. Concerns both in Africa and the United States have been raised about improper training for health workers who are dealing with the Ebola virus.

To help fight the arrival and spread of Ebola in New Jersey, members of the Port Authority have started sharing manifests with state police. Those documents show any passengers who originated in West Africa.

As part of the states aggressive campaign to avoid an Ebola outbreak, anyone arriving from Sierra Leone, New Guinea, and Liberia will be monitored for 21 days, the high end of the Ebola viruses incubation period.

If there is an Ebola outbreak in New Jersey, Christie has designated three hospitals to deal with the virus — University Hospital in Newark, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick and the Hackensack medical center.

Do you think there is too much fear mongering over Ebola in New Jersey? Or should officials be taking further actions, including travel bans, to help avoid the spread of the disease to more regions in the United States?