Airports screen for ebola

This item appears on page 16 of the December 2014 issue.

Concern about the spread of the ebola virus has prompted some nations to begin screening passengers arriving from affected countries. 

In the United States, ebola screening is being performed at JFK Airport in New York, Washington-Dulles, Chicago O’Hare, Hartsfield-Jackson in Atlanta and Newark Liberty International. Passengers arriving from countries where ebola cases are present will be tested for symptoms and given a questionnaire from which their risk of exposure will be determined. They will also be asked to check in daily to local health departments to monitor their health. 

Passengers arriving from countries with ebola are also being screened at Heathrow and Gatwick airports in the UK, Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris and Brussels Airport in Belgium. On Oct. 24, North Korea closed its borders to foreign tourists as a preventive measure.

Ebola infections have killed more than 4,800 people, including, in the US, one Liberian national; two nurses who caught ebola while treating him in Dallas recovered. At press time, an American doctor who returned to New York after providing medical assistance in West Africa was still in isolation after being diagnosed with the disease.

Most of the infections have occurred in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone in West Africa. Nigeria and Senegal were declared ebola-free in late October after being free of any new cases for six weeks.