Should the US halt flights going to and from Zika virus infected places until a vaccine is developed?

  • Temporary travel ban will minimize Zika infections

    To contain the spread of the Zika virus, the United States should enforce a temporary travel ban until a vaccine is developed. Doing so will minimize the number of Zika infections and protect our public health. Once a vaccine is developed, the travel ban may be lifted without threatening the public at large.

  • Travel restrictions are a reasonable reaction to easily communicable contagions.

    Halting flights to and from areas infected by the Zika virus is a reasonable measure to prevent the spread of the disease. Until we know more about how the disease is related to the reported birth defects and how those might be prevented, the possible damage and suffering is just too great to risk an outbreak in the U.S. Suffering tourism would be a regrettable side effect, but perhaps that would be an incentive for the governments affected to provide adequate funding for virus research so it can be resolved quickly.

  • Allow International Travel

    It is not a good idea to base decisions on fear. Some people may need to travel to these countries. Furthermore, the Zika virus only spreads from mosquitoes to humans, not human to human. So a person who had travelled to a country with Zika would have to return with the infection, be bitten by a US mosquito who then gives it to other humans. This is not a likely scenario. More likely the mosquitoes will travel to the US.

  • Stop fearing the world.

    It doesn't matter if the U.S. stops flights to anywhere with the virus. It just means that it will get here from another route. A better way to deal with the situation is to have better medical screening processes when entering and leaving those particular countries. We will find a vaccine, but we are not going to stop Zika from coming here.

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