Schaffner tells PBS that other illnesses are a bigger risk than Ebola. Questioned about the 600 measles cases this year:
Yes. Can you imagine that? And that’s because there’s still measles out in the world, but our parents, many of them, are withholding their children from vaccination. And so when someone from — with measles comes into this country, it can spread among our own children, causing a whole lot of illness, illness that we thought was long gone.
He says whooping cough, antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and flu are also more dangerous.
Ebola is new, mysterious, fierce. It has a very high mortality rate. And people feel a lack of control. There’s nothing they can do about it. They can get vaccinated against flu, but they feel put upon. I have even spoken to some people who seem indignant that something like Ebola could even come to the United States in the 21st century.