ICANN 51: Should the Ebola virus epidemic be a concern for international attendees?

The source of the Ebola virus is the African continent.

The source of the Ebola virus is the African continent.

Medical experts around the world, such as Sanjay Gupta, are calling the recent Ebola virus epidemic in Africa “very dangerous“.

Although the Ebola  virus isn’t airborne, it does spread through seemingly innocent bodily contact, such as handshakes, along with the exchange of bodily fluids, such as blood.

International conferences that attract populations from the affected areas could potentially be facing an organizational and health dilemma: should African attendees be advised to remain in the home countries, at least until the virus is contained?

ICANN will be holding its 51st conference in October, on US soil, in Los Angeles, California.

The list of ICANN51 attendees – at least the ones that chose to publicly announce their attendancecan be seen at the ICANN web site.

Currently, out of 300 registrations, more than 100 are from African countries, including:

  • Angola
  • Burundi
  • Cameroon
  • Central African Republic
  • Chad
  • Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Egypt
  • Eritrea
  • Gabon
  • Gambia
  • Ghana
  • Kenya
  • Liberia
  • Nigeria
  • Senegal
  • Somalia
  • South Africa
  • Tunisia
  • Uganda
  • Zimbabwe

The majority of these countries do not have any, or considerable Ebola virus incidents to report; unless there is a coordinated effort to control the spreading of the virus in Africa, they still may find themselves in a situation where international travel might be advised against.

Definitely an unpleasant subject that might cast a shadow on the regular agenda of ICANN51.


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