So far Canada has had no cases of Ebola and it hopes to keep it that way. The Canadian government has made the decision to stop issuing visas to citizens of Ebola stricken countries. Australia made the same decision last week, and drew criticism from the World Health Organization for doing so.
The move has been condemned by both The World Health Organization and by some legal experts who say that both Canada and Australia are in violation of international health laws.
David Fidler, an international law professor at Indiana University, said the moves by Canada and Australia place both in violation of the International Health Regulations, a 2005 WHO treaty to which both are signatories.
The International Health Regulations are designed to help the world fight infectious disease outbreaks that have the potential for international spread. They were revised and strengthened in the wake of the 2003 SARS outbreak when the WHO had to issue travel advisories directing people around the world to avoid places battling severe outbreaks. (source)
According to the CDC there were 774 deaths from SARS worldwide in 2002-2003. 8,098 people worldwide were sickened. There was a small outbreak in 2004, eight cases were reported in China, and from that point nothing more has been heard of SARS. According to the CDC:
Since 2004, there have not been any known cases of SARS reported anywhere in the world.
I genuinely fail to see how a policy written by The World Health Organization almost a decade ago after a disease outbreak that killed less than a thousand people is applicable to what is happening with Ebola.
I applaud the governments of Australia and Canada in the measures they are taking to protect their citizens. I only wish the United States government cared enough about us to do the same.
Chris Carrington is a writer, researcher and lecturer with a background in science, technology and environmental studies. Chris is an editor for The Daily Sheeple. Wake the flock up!
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