CDC considers strengthening passenger screenings to combat Ebola
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is looking to strengthen screenings for travelers entering the United States, including checking for fever and requiring a questionnaire, in an effort to combat the spread of the deadly Ebola virus, the head of the agency announced yesterday.
CDC Director Thomas Frieden said that the details of the added security measures will be released within the next five days. President Obama mentioned these changes on Monday after meeting with top national security officials to discuss the topic of Ebola, which has spread like wildfire throughout West Africa, resulting in the deaths of more than 3,400 people so far.
“We’re working very intensively on the screening process, as the president said, both on places of origin and on arrival to the US,” Frieden said. “We’re looking hard at what we can do to further increase the safety of Americans.”
“Flight attendants are the first responders to in-flight medical emergencies and we handle a myriad of health related situations,” said Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants, which has 60,000 members at 19 airlines. “While contracting Ebola in-flight is highly unlikely, the globalization of today’s aviation industry requires that new, stronger measures must be implemented to protect passengers and crew.”
News of these stronger screenings comes just one week after the first person to be diagnosed with the Ebola virus in the United States was hospitalized in Dallas. Thomas Eric Duncan was listed in critical but stable condition at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, where he was on ventilator, undergoing kidney dialysis and receiving an experimental antiviral drug, brincidofovir.
It’s important to note, however, that even stronger screening would likely not have made a difference in Duncan’s case, as he had already been examined by medical professionals prior to leaving Liberia, where he contracted the virus. It wasn’t until days after arriving in Texas that he began showing signs of Ebola.
Read more about the story at The Washington Post.