Miami is one of the global entry points to the United States, which makes it vulnerable to the spread of diseases. And as a deadly Ebola outbreak in west Africa continues to grow, fears of the disease spreading through air travel are increasing.
But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say the disease “poses little risk to the U.S. general population.”
According to the CDC, there have been 1,201 cases of Ebola since March in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone in the largest outbreak of the virus in history. The disease in the current outbreak is yielding a mortality rate of approximately 56 percent. Some outbreaks of Ebola have had mortality rates of up to 90 percent.
A case that popped up in Nigeria over the weekend sparked fears of airlines transporting the disease. According to Reuters, a consultant for the Liberian finance ministry collapsed when he arrived at the Lagos airport on July 20 and died on Friday.
The man flew from Liberia and landed in Togo before arriving in Nigeria where he collapsed and later died. Nigeria has since stepped up at all “airports, seaports, and land borders,” and placed on “red alert,” according to the BBC. Liberia has since closed most of its border crossings, according to Reuters.
Two American health care workers in Liberia have contracted Ebola. One of the workers’ family had just returned to the United States before the person became symptomatic. The CDC said the family is being monitored for 21 days, the incubation period for the disease.
The CDC said the likelihood of the disease spreading outside of West Africa is “very low.” The CDC said the reason the disease is not likely to spread is because it spreads only through direct contact with the blood, secretions, or other body fluids of people and indirect contact with items like needles and other items contaminated with these fluids.
The CDC said it doesn’t have a projection how long the current outbreak may last, but that for the outbreak to be declared over there would have to be 42 days without a confirmed case.