United States: Ebola Screening to Be Beefed Up at 5 Airports

Airlines and Aviation

Shortly after the first known case of an Ebola patient dying in the U.S., the Obama administration announces plans to beef up screening at airports with the most flights carrying passengers from the hardest hit countries.

The Obama Administration has announced plans to beef up the screening of passengers arriving from the countries hardest hit by the Ebola epidemic.

Passengers from Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone arriving at the following 5 airports will be taken to special screening areas to have their temperatures taken: Dulles International Airport near Washington, DC; Hartfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta, Georgia; John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City; Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey; and O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois.

These 5 airports account for 94% of passengers traveling by air from the 3 Western African countries hardest hit by the Ebola epidemic to the United States.

But what about the numerous US airports accounting for the other 6% of arrivals? Why won’t they be included in this scheme? Shouldn’t anyone arriving from one of those countries be subjected to the same scrutiny?

If their numbers are smaller, the manpower needed to deal with them would be corresponding less. If only one or 2 arrivals at another airport are traveling from one of those countries, surely it wouldn’t be that difficult to deal with them.

And what about the other countries where the disease has broken out? Why are arrivals only from these 3 countries being targeted? Viruses don’t respect national borders.

Information on Symptons

Other passengers arriving on these flights, meanwhile, will be given information on the symptoms of the disease and asked to give detailed contact information.

Exit screenings on passengers traveling from Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone to the United States are already in place.

“The Obama Administration’s Ebola response has thus far been thoughtful and measured, and has resisted the temptation for draconian overreaction,” says U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow.

“Relevant agencies across the federal government deserve praise for the responsible, deliberative approach they have brought to this high-profile problem.”

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