An ABC News investigation has found that a new Hawaii Safe Travel guidelines are not working in the state.
In a report published on Wednesday, ABC News found that the guidelines have not been effective in keeping people safe from the Ebola virus, as it is not possible to measure how much a person is exposed to each time they travel abroad.
“This is a really big issue, especially in this new Ebola epidemic where you don’t know how many people are exposed to the virus, you don [know] how long they’ve been abroad, you know how long the virus has been around,” Professor Matthew Moseley, of the Australian National University’s School of Population, Family and Public Health, said.
“There are some good, small studies that have looked at how much time has been spent abroad by people travelling with a virus and how much exposure they’ve had.”
Professor Moseleys report found that while some states have made significant progress in reducing their Ebola exposure, it is still too early to make a definitive statement on whether these changes are working.
The ABC has also found that many travellers have not received an official diagnosis of Ebola, and the virus continues to spread through the community.
Professor Mosesley said that even though the guidelines are effective, they are still a work in progress.
“The CDC has been working on this for about 10 years now, and it’s still not really working, and I think it’s important that we do not let that get in the way of us doing all we can to make sure people are safe and that people have access to healthcare and are protected from any outbreak,” he said.
Dr Mark Ainsworth from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare said that the advice is not about making people safer, but rather about making the community safer.
“We don’t want people to feel they have to be safe to travel and if you’re travelling internationally, you need to be careful.
It’s about keeping the community safe,” he told the ABC.”
What’s really important is to have a robust understanding of what the risks are, so we can make decisions about how we can best minimise the risk.”
The guidelines are based on a new international standard called the WHO-recommended international travel level for Ebola.
Professor Ainswood said the new standard has a number of limitations.
It doesn’t include the possibility that people who travel abroad may have been exposed to other infectious diseases like malaria or tuberculosis, and is limited to the level of exposure to other pathogens.
“If you’re abroad, it’s going to be much more difficult to know exactly how many of those exposures you’ve had,” he explained.
“But it’s not impossible.
You know, there are a number more people than you might expect who have travelled abroad, but there’s a lot of people who haven’t.”‘
The risk of transmission is very high’Professor Ainosworth said there are several factors that could make travelling abroad more difficult, including:A lack of travel information, and lack of information about the conditions in the regionA lack or difficulty accessing healthcareA lack and difficulty getting to or from an outbreak locationA lack in education about the virus and the health risksA lack knowledge of the risk factors associated with travelThe report said the international travel standard will be updated in the coming weeks.
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