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Ebola Fears Hit Airline Stocks

"Oh, the masks are only for First Class."

Even so, Ebola fears helped bring down airlines’ stock prices Wednesday, contributing to a 200-point drop in the Dow Jones average. Stock prices for American Airlines, United, Southwest and Delta Air Lines all fell around 3 percent.

So far, U.S. authorities show no signs of escalating their response by barring flights from countries where Ebola is rampant. While the Federal Aviation Administration has broad latitude to limit the travels of U.S. airlines, it has less clear-cut authority over foreign carriers — and in dealing with

Ebola, the agency would most likely follow the lead of the CDC or the White House.

An FAA spokeswoman declined to say Wednesday whether the agency could ban flights to or from certain regions based on health concerns, saying she could not get into “hypothetical situations.” She repeated that the CDC is the lead agency but that the FAA “will make decisions as appropriate.”

Let's not even get into why authorities aren't discussing a travel ban. It's as if none of these people have ever played Plague Inc. or Pandemic.

I don't know why the FAA spokeswoman said should couldn't get into "hypothetical situations," as this whole things seems rather real, what with the people dying and all.

It's comforting having the bureaucracy being bureaucratic in a potential health crisis situation, isn't it? Hey, and we've got government health care and stuff now too!

Good times.

I'm staying in.

Unless the airlines offer some "Come On, Take A Chance!" fares, of course.