Should the U.S. ban travel to countries affected by the Ebola outbreak? Some have begun to argue “yes” to help control the spread of the disease, but APHA Executive Director Georges Benjamin, MD, makes the case for evidence-based interventions and stronger investment in public health in a commentary published today in U.S. News & World Report’s Debate Forum.

Georges Benjamin

APHA Executive Director Georges Benjamin, MD.

The U.S. should not implement travel restrictions on countries impacted by the Ebola crisis and here is why. The Ebola outbreak has reminded the world what public health officials have known for centuries: Infectious disease does not respect geographical borders.

There was a time when we travelled the globe in ships and across land. In those days travel took months and diseases died out or were easy to contain using quarantine measures and broad travel restrictions.

We now live in a global society during a time when the variables we are trying to compute are numerous and complex. The vast number of people traveling around the world, the speed of travel, the large number of conveyances and the presence of multiple ports of entry into our country argues for a focused, well-tested and science-based approach to reducing the risk of exposure to this highly lethal infectious disease.

To continue reading the commentary, visit U.S. News online.

Control of Communicable Diseases Manual, 20th Edition, APHA’s renowned sourcebook on infectious disease, is now available from APHA Press.