It all began when Ebola-infected Thomas Eric Duncan managed to enter the U.S after travelling from Liberia. Now, the U.S. has new and possible cases of Ebola as the sick and now deceased Duncan infected healthcare workers who took care of him.

The threats of additional cases of Ebola being brought to the country by travellers are apparently the reason why Republican lawmakers have called for President Barack Obama on Thursday to improve travel restrictions from countries struck by the highly fatal virus.

"A temporary ban on travel to the United States from countries afflicted with the virus is something that the president should absolutely consider, along with any other appropriate actions as doubts about the security of our air travel systems grow," said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.

Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea in West Africa were hit by the epidemic that has now claimed thousands of lives since it started in March. Several African countries as well as France and Great Britain have already imposed travel bans from these countries but the White House still resisted the idea of a travel ban.

On Thursday, the President said that he might consider an Ebola travel ban if experts recommend such move saying that such restriction could possibly encourage infected individuals to conceal their condition, which could lead to more cases of infection. Obama said that experts have recommended against a flat-out travel ban.

The U.S has instead opted for more stringent screening measures in airports. Enhanced screening of travelers coming from Ebola-struck nations started last week at the John F. Kennedy International Airport and on Thursday was expanded to four other airports in Newark Liberty, Chicago O'Hare, Washington Dulles, and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta. The five airports serve as the primary touchdown sites of travelers coming from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra.

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) director Thomas Frieden is also opposed to the idea of imposing a travel ban saying that it could only make the situation worse. He cited that some West Africans could enter the country without revealing where they have come from and this will make it harder to trace them.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has also advised against travel bans. The United Nations agency said that the risks of Ebola transmission with air travel is low.

"Because the risk of Ebola transmission on airplanes is so low, WHO does not consider air transport hubs at high risk for further spread of Ebola," said WHO Global Capacity Alert and Response director Isabelle Nuttall.

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