Top U.S. airports start Ebola screening

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United States airports that handle the most travelers from West Africa will start screening passengers for Ebola symptoms this weekend, according to MedPage Today.

New York City’s JFK International Airport is the first domestic airport to put Ebola screening efforts into practice. “In the past year, JFK has received almost half of all travelers from the hot-zone nations of Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea,” reported the CDC and the Department of Homeland Security, in a joint statement.

Other United States airports will start enforcing screening practices, too, the agencies added. Washington-Dulles, Chicago-O’Hare, Atlanta-Hartsfield, and Newark airports will begin new screening practices. These four airports, plus JFK International, transport nearly 94% of all passengers from Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.

The airports will set up a screening section of each airport, where medical personal will observe passengers traveling from West Africa for signs of potential infection and conduct temperature checks with noncontact thermometers.

“Those with no red flags will be given health information on self-monitoring and asked to perform daily temperature checks on themselves and to provide contact information,” wrote John Gever of MedPage Today.

Both the CDC and the Department of Homeland Security have reported working with West African governments to enforce an exit screening on all outbound travelers. So far, 77 passengers were prohibited from boarding an airplane as a result of the screening methods already in place, but none were found to have Ebola.

The Department of Homeland Security and CDC have joined forces to implement Ebola screenings at five major airports in the United States.

Major domestic airports now screening travelers for Ebola
Major domestic airports now screening travelers for Ebola

Airline passengers arriving at five U.S. airports that receive most travelers from West Africa will face screening for Ebola symptoms as soon as this weekend, federal officials said.

JFK International Airport in New York City will be the first to implement the screening, beginning Saturday, according to a joint statement from the CDC and the Department of Homeland Security's Customs and Border Protection (CBP) division. Washington-Dulles, Chicago-O'Hare, Atlanta-Hartsfield, and Newark airports will commence screening some time next week.

"After passport review, travelers from Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone will be escorted by CBP to an area of the airport set aside for screening," the statement said. Trained staff will then "observe them for signs of illness, ask them a series of health and exposure questions and provide health information for Ebola and reminders to monitor themselves for symptoms."

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