Nigerian writer Elnathan John took a jab at the United State’s measles outbreak, tweeting, “Our thoughts are also with the measles-ravaged country America. I hope we are screening them before they come to Africa.”
John’s coy remarks were in response to what many consider America’s extreme response to the Ebola virus concerns in Africa. There was a call from some politicians for a ban to travel to the countries in the western part of the continent.
John, who also is a lawyer in Abuja, the capital of Nigeria, had his comment retweeted more than 15,000 times. Many were supportive of his snarky remarks; many took offense.
John could not resist the urge to poke more fun, even as he conceded he was joking.
“I’m just kidding America,” he tweeted. “You know I love you—measles, guns, Kim Kardashian and all.”
Ebola concerns in America almost grew to a panic, especially when Liberian Thomas Eric Duncan died in a Texas hospital in October.
A Reuters/Ipsos poll last October found that more than 70 percent of Americans supported a ban on civilian air travel to parts of Africa.
John touched on a subject—measles—that is a growing concern. Measles is easily transferable, and so fears of a national outbreak rise.
Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control, said his agency is “very concerned” about the possibility of a large measles outbreak in the U.S.
His fears come as a growing number of people who have not been vaccinated against the disease are being exposed to the rest of the population.
The outbreak is due in to the “anti-vaxxer movement”—parents who believe that childhood vaccinations can cause autism in children.
More than 100 cases of the measles have been reported in 14 states since last month. Many cases have been traced directly or indirectly to Disneyland in Southern California.