Dam2810

Impact of Ebola on safari bookings?

165 posts in this topic

This is one of the best articles I've read on the Ebola crisis. Well worth a rather long read.

 

 

 

But the fact is that weak health systems, not unprecedented virulence or a previously unknown mode of transmission, are to blame for Ebola’s rapid spread. Weak health systems are also to blame for the high case-fatality rates in the current pandemic, which is caused by the Zaire strain of the virus. The obverse of this fact – and it is a fact – is the welcome news that the spread of the disease can be stopped by linking better infection control (to protect the uninfected) to improved clinical care (to save the afflicted). An Ebola diagnosis need not be a death sentence. Here’s my assertion as an infectious disease specialist: if patients are promptly diagnosed and receive aggressive supportive care – including fluid resuscitation, electrolyte replacement and blood products – the great majority, as many as 90 per cent, should survive.

 

http://www.lrb.co.uk/v36/n20/paul-farmer/diary

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Here is an interersting report from Tom dispatch http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175910/tomgram%3A_karen_greenberg%2C_will_the_u.s._go_to_%22war%22_against_ebola/#more

 

a whole lot of people generalise about Africa, my neighbour wander why I was returning

 

well they don't generalise about USA with its pockets of bad urban violence, so why generalise with Africa?

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Do you know what makes me feel really bad? the contrast in the health systems where Europeans can get good care and perhaps survive (tiny numbers so far I admit) and the almost non existent health care in the these seriously affected countries. I fear for all of them.

 

I just hope that the attempts now being made to prevent to spread of the disease and deliver quality care to larger numbers of people has some effect. I applaud the efforts of the agencies involved and admire the bravery and commitment of those who have gone or are going.

 

But I fear for those countries. Tragic.

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Do you know what makes me feel really bad? the contrast in the health systems where Europeans can get good care and perhaps survive (tiny numbers so far I admit) and the almost non existent health care in the these seriously affected countries. I efar for all of them.

 

I just hope that the attempts now being made to prevent to spread of the disease and deliver quality care to larger numbers of people has some effect. I applaud the efforts of the agencies involved and admire the bravery and commitment of those who have gone or are going.

 

But I fear for those countries. Tragic.

 

At the risk of sounding extremely cynical .. now that there is a risk that the disease will spread into Europe and the USA those countries are finally starting to take it seriously. Now it has become much more important to them to develop a vaccine.

 

There is a good video on today's Guardian entitled Ebola virus: how it spreads and what it does to you

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I think you are probably right @@Soukous, yet another reason to feel bad about it all.

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Very sad

sad if it is true and sad that I am that cynical

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Earlier in this thread there was some talk of whether people would be able to get money back if they canceled trips if they found out there was an Ebola outbreak in the area they were going to on safari. As we've all discussed that seems highly unlikely. I found it interesting that i received this email from AndBeyond this morning. (I don't have any present travel plans with them but have traveled with them in the past).

 

spacer_20x20%2811%29.png

REVISED CANCELLATION POLICY IN THE UNLIKELY EVENT OF EBOLA

Dear <guest name>,

While geographically very far removed from our lodge operations in East and Southern Africa, the Ebola epidemic in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia has meant that a number of our guests have been reluctant to book travel without the guarantee of some form of protection or booking refund in the unlikely event of an Ebola outbreak in areas where we operate.

In response to these requests and in order to reassure our guests, andBeyond is offering our guests a revised cancellation policy for travel with andBeyond to any of the camps and lodges in our African portfolio. This policy will apply to both new and existing bookings and guarantees that all cancellation penalties relating to andBeyond camps, lodges and services will be waived up to the day prior to arrival. There are two options available to you:

  1. Guests who have secured Comprehensive Travel Insurance are required to first claim from their Insurer. Once they have obtained the appropriate documentation and proof from the Insurer about the outcome of the claim, &Beyond will pay the difference between what the travel insurance company has paid to you and the price paid to &Beyond. This refund, less a 3% service fee, will be paid via EFT to you. Should you so choose andBeyond will hold this amount for a future trip. If this option is selected, the 3% service fee will not apply and you can choose to take this trip at any point in the future; or
  2. Guests who have not secured Comprehensive Travel Insurance will receive a credit to the value they have paid for the &Beyond accommodation services and will be able to use this credit for future travel, which would need to be concluded within a year of the postponed trip.

Important Points:

  1. Should the itinerary include any third party services (accommodation, transport, tours, etc.), the cost of these would be deducted from the credit or refund, unless the third parties have agreed to similar terms as those offered by &Beyond.
  2. The following conditions would need to be met in order for these revised Cancellation Terms and Conditions to supersede andBeyond’s current Terms and Conditions:
  1. There should be a confirmed outbreak of Ebola, as defined by the World Health Organisation (WHO), in the country to which the guest is travelling and in which &Beyond’s camps and lodges are situated; and
  2. The WHO and at least one of the G5 countries (France, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States of America) must issue a Level 3 Travel Advisory (advising against all but essential travel) for travel to the country, on grounds of Ebola, relevant to the guest’s itinerary (Tanzania, Kenya, Botswana, Namibia, Mozambique or South Africa).
  1. Guests electing to not travel without the above conditions being met should ensure that the appropriate Insurance Cover is in place which includes the optional upgrade, allowing the cancelation of travel for any reason.
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@wilddog- I am in total agreement with you. I think this has been the most heartbreaking thing for me. I've followed this since early spring and no one cared. No one sent help and there was no media attention. Unfortunately, the current media attention, with the exception of a couple articles pointing out the silliness of the overreactions, probably haven't proven helpful. I just hope that finally the help is getting there- too late for almost 5000 people, but hopefully it'll help many others. Still planning on traveling to Zim in 2015. Would go now just to prove a point if I could afford it :)

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Posted (edited)

In my last post I suggested that perhaps African’s have more to fear from visiting Americans than vice versa and the flights from America should be stopped, I wasn’t of course being entirely serious when I said this. I now read that Rwanda has in fact just introduced airport screening for passengers from the US and Spain. It's possible this may have something to do with the fact that a school in New Jersey had parents threatening to withdraw their children when they heard that two Rwandan students were about to be enrolled. Apparently the school said that they would take the children’s temperature everyday but this wasn’t enough so the Rwandan parents decided to voluntarily withdraw their children for over 21 days before enrolling them.

 

@@Soukous I don't think you're being that cynical at all unfortunately most of the research done over the years in America on producing an Ebola vaccine was conducted out of the fear that the Russians or more recently Islamist terrorists might somehow be able to use Ebola as a bio weapon than out of a desire to save African lives. Until now Ebola was a very rare disease that only emerged once in a while in very poor and very remote parts of Central Africa killed a few hundred people at most and then burnt out (with help from MSF and others). So there was simply no motive for the drugs companies to spend lots of money developing a vaccine, there’s no profit in saving the lives of poor Africans. I’m afraid it is not hard to conclude that the race to develop a vaccine is mostly down to the threat to the that Ebola will leave Africa and spread to America and Europe.

Edited by inyathi
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I saw that about Rwanda- although I thought it was a great turn of the tables situation....it may not necessarily help the tourism industry in Rwanda. Having been there, they really depend on tourists for their economy and hopefully this will not turn people off even more Want a mess this all is for that awesome continent.

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Posted (edited)

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/travel_news/article-2802717/demand-african-safari-holidays-drops-70-percent-following-outbreak-deadly-ebola-virus.html

 

 

However, Jake McCormick, a safari specialist with Shadows of Africa, said the Ebola outbreak has caused a 70 per cent decrease in inquiries at his company, which offers tours in Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda and Zanzibar.

And Brett Thomson, managing director of Sun Safaris, said that bookings down by 50 per cent compared to last year.
Edited by Dam2810

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Posted (edited)

Can I Insure My Safari Against Ebola?

 

http://www.extraordinaryjourneys.net/blog/episode-2-can-i-insure-my-safari-against-ebola/

 

Regarding the comment of &Beyond, has anyone any idea how much costs an insurance Insurance Cover which includes the optional upgrade, allowing the cancelation of travel for any reason with respect to a "standard insurance"?

 

 

Official WHO Ebola toll near 5,000 with true number nearer 15,000

 

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/10/22/us-health-ebola-who-idUSKCN0IB23220141022

Edited by Dam2810

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I am not sure if the policy would cover it, and it would not be cheap.

 

When in early August I returned from my trip, I heard someone say in my office at a distance does he have ebola?

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Posted (edited)

I understand from the BBC that the first case has now been confirmed in Mali a two year old girl who was brought across the border from Guinea is now being treated for Ebola let’s hope they can repeat Senegal’s success and prevent an outbreak from occurring.

 

Ebola crisis: Mali confirms first infection case

 

After the story about the school in New Jersey I thought it was only fare to make it clear that we Brits are just as ignorant about Africa as anyone in America. I see that just a few days ago was a very similar case here with a school in Cheshire, a couple of the teachers visited a school in Kenya that they have an association with and when they returned to the UK the parents at their school threatened to withdraw their children unless the teachers were quarantined before returning to work. When will this madness end? Fortunately it seems that perhaps the more serious newspapers here aren’t reporting some many blatant scare stories, but the Mail Online is constantly churning out new Ebola stories to milk it for all it’s worth and I suspect other tabloids may be the doing the same.

 

I’m not sure how many here are aware but gorillas are actually even more susceptible to Ebola than humans and the virus is even deadlier with a death rate of 95% it’s estimated that 25% of western lowland gorillas in the Congo Republic have been wiped out by Ebola outbreaks.

 

So as a change from stories about people’s irrational fears in the US and the UK here’s a story about gorilla poop instead.

 

How Gorilla Poop Could Help Stop Ebola

Edited by inyathi
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Posted (edited)

I'm a bit late to the party, but as I live in Dallas, which has been at the center of the US cases of Ebola, I thought I'd chime in.

 

First, aside from front page newspaper headlines and lead-in news stories, life here has largely been unaffected by these recent events. People continue with their daily lives, there's been no reduction in public transit schedules or ridership, and reports of mass hysteria are completely untrue. Calm reigns and ordinariness is the rule of the day.

 

We booked our safari to South Africa for August/September 2015 before the latest turn of events, and the notion of canceling has not even entered our minds. In fact, we were at a lodge in the Tambopata Reserve in Peru when we learned about the Ebola cases back home. Before we left, my family, as usual, had expressed great concern about our safety in such a relatively remote location. When we heard about what was going on at home, I was able to call them, and I told them they should immediately come down and join us in the jungle, where it was so much more safe! Don't think I won't use that as ammunition for a long time to come!

 

We do have travel insurance that allows us to cancel for any reason. That gets us 75% of any nonrefundables back. But forget that. The reason I purchased this coverage is because my mother is 91 years old and, pragmatically speaking, well, you just never know. But unless there is an active Ebola outbreak near our destination shortly before we depart, we're there.

 

In conclusion, I agree with those who have said that reports of panic are largely media hype. While the topic has certainly, quite naturally, come up, not one person we've talked to has seriously thought we should deviate from our plans to go back to South Africa next year.

Edited by Alexander33
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EBOLA'S VILLAIN AND VICTIM
Amira Ali

Varying Western mainstream media styles of reporting on Ebola confirm how narratives are spaces of domination. The African Ebola patient is classically "othered" and portrayed as a villain and perpetrator, while the American Ebola patient is depicted as a victim.
http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/features/93238
******


EBOLA IN AFRICA: A PRODUCT OF HISTORY, NOT A NATURAL PHENOMENON
August H. Nimtz

There is nothing inevitable about the Ebola epidemic now devastating parts of Africa. Like other disasters, it too is the product of history, of the decisions that governments have made in the past as well as the present.
http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/features/93235
******

in Australia holiday bookings to Cairns decraesed for a while because 1 nurse was in quarantine

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EBOLA: A SHOCKER TO KENYA'S TOURISM
Mickie Ojijo

No case of Ebola has been reported in Kenya, despite several scares. But that is not how tourists see it. The numbers of arrivals are going down.
http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/comment/93242
******
people are panicking, the distances are huge ,just look at a map



/\/\//\/\/\//\/\/\//\/\/\//\/\/\//\/\/\//\/\/\//\/\/\//\/\/\//\
3 Advocacy & campaigns
DECLARATION OF THE EXTRAORDINARY ALBA-TCP SUMMIT ON EBOLA

Last week, heads of state from Latin America and the Caribean met in Cuba explore ways to help the fight against the Ebola outbreak in Africa and to avoid its propagation to other regions.
http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/advocacy/93228

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Although the situation in the three affected countries is still dreadful there are reasons to be hopeful and it is possible to find positive stories to report on Ebola.

 

Firstly now that the two US nurses have fully recovered that means that the only three people to have caught Ebola outside of Africa have all been successfully cured and no one else has been infected. Of course the tabloid newspapers and other media are still scaremongering and plenty of people who don’t understand the science of Ebola are convinced that medics who have returned from the affected countries to the US are trying to spread the disease. However in a week or two it should become clear that no one has been infected by any of these people though this probably won’t stop people panicking everyone time another infected medic returns but I hope it will at least allay some of the needless fear.

 

In Mali the young girl who was taken by bus from Guinea via Bamako to the town of Kayes in the west of the country where she died from Ebola did not so far apparently infect anyone, there are still 39 people who haven’t been traced however they are considered low risk. So instead of one or two small outbreaks that could perhaps have allowed the disease to spread in Mali it looks like the country will prove to be clear of Ebola. So within Africa Ebola is still confined to the three countries at the epicentre of the crisis and is not spreading anywhere else despite what the paranoid and the fear mongers believe.

 

In the affected countries it seems that the infection rate in Liberia has levelled off though of course this could change for the worse again but for the moment at least it's good news. Meanwhile in Sierra Leone the infection rate appears to be going up at least it was widely reported that people were being infected nine times faster than previously thought and certainly this is what the scaremongering tabloids like the Daily Mail reported. However the BBC reported today that according to experts on the ground this is in fact an illusion, that the message about Ebola is finally getting through to remote rural areas and as result more people are reporting cases than they were before giving the appearance that the infection rate is going up when in fact it's not. One of the problems was that people didn’t understand that it is actually possible to survive Ebola if you receive medical care as soon as symptoms develop; therefore if you can get to a hospital you do at least have a chance of surviving. Previously people were under the impression that anyone who went to hospital never came back so there was no point in getting themselves or their relatives to hospital if they were just going to die there, they might as well die at home. The major reason that the disease took hold so quickly is that there has never been an outbreak of Zaire ebolavirus anywhere in West Africa before so this was a completely unknown disease to the people dying of it. However now people are much better informed about Ebola and how it spreads and are abandoning traditional practices such as washing corpses prior to burial. This practice is extremely dangerous as Ebola victims are most infectious soon after death and infected corpses pose a huge risk to people, now though in Sierra Leone most bodies are being safely buried within 24hrs reducing the risk of further infection considerably. A British doctor in Sierra Leone interviewed by the BBC stated that at present one Ebola victim infects two other people but if they can bring that down to just one other person the outbreak can be ended and he is confident that that can be done. Another interviewee from Save the Children suggested that the outbreak could be brought under control in three months.

 

A positive note on the wildlife front is that there has been a significant drop in bushmeat consumption in Nigeria as a result of the Ebola Crisis according to a recent BBC report. This outbreak started with a child in Guinea who is thought to have caught it from eating a fruit bat as fruit bats are believed to be the natural host of Ebola it is also a possibility that they may have caught it from eating fruit that fruit bats had been feeding on and had contaminated with their saliva. Either way most outbreaks are generally thought to start with someone becoming infected through contact with the blood of an animal that they have hunted or found dead in the forest. Duikers and primates like monkeys and apes are prone to Ebola infection it’s thought very likely as a result of eating fallen fruit infected by fruit bats and as mentioned in a previous post the mortality rate from gorillas with Ebola is 95%. So if there is one positive thing to come out of this awful situation is that it could be good news for the wildlife of West and Central Africa if people come to seriously fear eating bushmeat. Obviously the virus is killed during the cooking process the real risk is to the person preparing the meat rather than necessarily the person eating it either way hopefully consumption will go down and stay down.

 

The other heartening news is that since the Disasters Emergency Committee (an umbrella organisation of 13 leading UK charities) launched their Ebola appeal a few days ago over 12 million pounds has been raised including 5 from the government. If you haven’t already donated please do the more people and resources that are put in to fighting this dreadful epidemic the sooner it will be brought under control, I hope to hear that in three months time the corner really has been turned and this crisis is on the way to being over. If you’re not in UK then please donate to anyone who is helping out in West Africa especially to MSF/DWB who are the world experts on fighting Ebola, unfortunately due to a combination of ignorance and media scaremongering their competence is being questioned and their name is being dragged through the mud by some people in the US. This is entirely unjustified and I suspect that the people saying they won’t donate to DWB probably wouldn’t have done anyway all the same if you can support them please do.

 

Sadly I fear that even when this is finally over Africa will still be seen by many as the diseased continent and I’m sure that it will take a good while for tourism to recover, but we have to try and remain positive and see that the news is not as bleak as it appears. For anyone who wants to keep up to date with what’s actually happening in West Africa as opposed to what is not happening in the US and the UK the BBC has a Daily Ebola report on the News Channel at 19:30 UK time.

 

DEC Ebola Crisis Appeal

 

MSF

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@@inyathi well stated

 

the situation has been made worse by budget cuts at WHO

 

Things are serious but people are nassively over generalising

 

I have heard that health in the 3 countries concerned is being generally adversly affected as people affected by malaria are staying away from clinics wishing to avoid a possible ebola contact

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As I said we have to remain positive.

 

Like the young boy interviewed by the BBC yesterday who had just the survived the disease but had lost both his parents and all his siblings who said with a big smile on his face I want to become president of Sierra Leone. Every time I read any more bad news or nonsense about Ebola I will think of him still smiling despite the unimaginable tragedy that he has come through and hope that one day he does indeed become president of a country long free of this disease.

 

@@COSMIC RHINO

 

Yes there is a huge problem now with people dying from malaria and other easily treatable diseases because either they are afraid to go to hospital or the hospitals are turning them away because they’re overwhelmed with Ebola patients.

 

 

 

 

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I'm a sucker for a good conspiracy theory. Yet at the same time, I try my utmost to stay away from websites with names like "Spirit Science and Metaphysics". There's just too much hokus pokus and no peer-reviewed science.

Whatever.... This article was posted on my facebook wall and I was intrigued. I skimmed through it and I was sick in my stomach when I got to the end. I fully believe the US government is capable of such a nefarious plan.

 

http://www.spiritscienceandmetaphysics.com/what-you-are-not-being-told-about-ebola/

 

But let me not spread panic. Let's all keep a level head here.

 

KENYA (and the rest of the Safari Destination countries) IS SAFE!! We must understand HOW ebola is spread. Unless you come in direct contact with one bodily fluid of an ebola victim, you will not get infected.

 

I also stumbled across this GEM of a video outlining the difference between American and British reports on Ebola.
http://dudecomedy.com/difference-american-british-reporting-ebola-hilarious/

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@@armchair bushman - what's the situation with bookings for the Holiday season in Kenya? I would have assumed that most people planning a safari for Christmas or NY would have well booked even before the media hype and ignorance.

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