The most important news for the travel industry last week may have been the revelation that Louise Troh, the fiancee of the deceased Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan, did not catch the disease, even after spending a week with Duncan in her Dallas apartment.


And neither did the other family members who shared the apartment.

In fact, as of last week it appeared that Duncan, who died on Oct. 8, infected only two persons in the U.S.: the two Dallas nurses who were placed in isolation on Oct. 10 and Oct. 15, respectively.

A number of people who had contact with those nurses are being monitored. If no new cases arise among them, the chain will be broken.

An equally important development last week was the declaration by the World Health Organization that Nigeria is now Ebola-free, as health officials managed to limit the outbreak that began there in July to 19 confirmed cases.

These are facts, and what they tell us is that this disease, as scary as it may be, is not easily transmitted and can be controlled without imposing broad, draconian restrictions on everyday travelers.

Nigeria's experience has shown that the spread of this disease can be stopped with relatively simple precautions, including screening and monitoring of the kind that the Obama administration has been adopting.

Although the government has come under fire from many quarters for not responding more aggressively, we believe it is steering a prudent course.

What we surely do not need are irrational responses, such as the demands from politicians to "ban flights" from West Africa when there are no such flights to ban, or the decision of a school system in Maine to put a teacher on leave because he had recently traveled to Dallas.

We have every reason to be careful, but no reason to defer travel to Dallas or avoid airports, cruises or safari tours in East or Southern Africa.

Our industry's recommendation to potential travelers this fall should be what it always is: Get a flu shot and go somewhere nice.
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