- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 15, 2014

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - South Dakota U.S. Sen. John Thune said Wednesday the U.S. should ban travelers from three West African countries where an Ebola epidemic is spreading.

The infection of a second Dallas nurse shows more must be done to keep the disease from spreading in America, said Thune, the ranking Republican on the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.

The ban would affect about 150 airline passengers a day and also prevent people who already have visas from traveling to the U.S. That includes about 5,000 from Guinea, 5,000 from Sierra Leone and 3,500 from Liberia, he said. There are no direct flights to the U.S. from those countries.

“This thing is something we need to take very, very seriously and with this third case today we need to take some additional measures to keep the disease from ever reaching our shores. That’s an important next step and one I hope the administration will consider,” he said.

Thune said he and Rep. Bill Shuster, chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, are suggesting a one-month ban that would be evaluated every 30 days on whether it should be expanded or extended.

They also wrote a letter Tuesday to the departments of Transportation and Homeland Security, asking each secretary how they’re collaborating to protect people.

The World Health Organization said earlier that travel bans are not the way to stop the spread of the disease.

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