By Candace Kellner
President Barack Obama is tentatively more optimistic after learning that the battle with Ebola has taken a new turn: Two Ebola patients in America have been cured of the disease.
“It gives you some sense that when it’s caught early and where the public health infrastructure operates effectively, this outbreak can be stopped,” Obama said to CNN.
The condition of Nurse Nina Pham, who contracted Ebola after treating patient Thomas Eric Duncan, has shown improvement. In a statement released by her employer, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, Pham said she is feeling better.
“I’m doing well and want to thank everyone for their kind wishes and prayers,” she said, according to the hospital. “I am blessed by the support of family and friends and am blessed to be cared for by the best team of doctors and nurses in the world.”
Pham’s dog has also been reported to be doing well. Samples from her dog, Bentley, tested negative for the virus. Bentley is being cared for at a Dallas animal shelter.
“That dog was very important to her,” Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings told CNN. “We want to make sure that dog is as healthy as can be at this point and being taken care of.”
In hopes to keep the outbreak from further spreading, the United States has decided to monitor all travelers entering the country from Ebola-affected areas as of Monday, Oct. 27. U.S.-bound passengers from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea are required to land in one of the five U.S. airports with advanced Ebola-screening technology.
In a statement made by the World Health Organization (WHO), officials emphasized that the organization opposes banning travel as a solution to regulating the virus.
“(The WHO) does not recommend any ban on international travel or trade, in accordance with advice from the WHO Ebola Emergency Committee,” the statement said.
Many in the United States have suggested prohibiting infected individuals from entering the country by plane. However, several individuals in the scientific and medical field conclude that banning air travel will make the infected harder to track because they would try to cross borders by land.
Several international airlines have already banned flights to Ebola-stricken nations. Kenya Airways suspended flights to Sierra Leone and Liberia. British Airways also stopped flights to these two nations back in August. If the United States were to implement a travel ban, it would be the first air-travel ban in U.S. history.