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Extra Ebola screening at US airports


Health officials have announced that passengers arriving in the US from Ebola-affected countries in West Africa could be subject to extra screening at airports.

Extra checks at entry is one of the options under consideration as the US tries to limit the spread of its first confirmed case, a Liberian in Dallas.

President Barack Obama is to be briefed on the Ebola crisis later on Monday, October 6.

The Ebola outbreak is the world’s deadliest, killing more than 3,400 people, mostly in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

Celebrations in West Africa for the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha have been badly affected, with public places used for prayers deserted.

One of the US president’s advisers on the issue, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said “discussion is underway right now” regarding all options to contain the virus.

Passengers arriving in the US from Ebola-affected countries in West Africa could be subject to extra screening at airports

Passengers arriving in the US from Ebola-affected countries in West Africa could be subject to extra screening at airports

On airport checks, Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN the question was whether “the extra level of screening is going to be worth the resources you need to put into it”.

Passengers leaving affected countries already have their temperatures checked, but people do not become infectious until they display symptoms.

The infected Liberian in Dallas, Thomas Eric Duncan, was monitored for symptoms when he left Liberia but they did not develop until four days later, when he was in the US.

Thomas Eric Duncan is now in a critical condition in hospital.

Ten people who came into direct contact with him are being closely monitored but no-one has yet displayed any Ebola symptoms.

When asked about screening, Dr. Thomas Frieden of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said: “We are looking at all options to protect Americans.”

However, he ruled out banning flights to the US because isolating these countries would only increase the outbreak within Africa and would deny them crucial aid, he said.

On the White House meeting later on Monday, Thomas Frieden said: “We’re going to be covering many aspects and figure out what we can do” to protect Americans and stop the outbreaks.”


But he repeated that he did not believe it would spread in the US.

“We can stop it in its tracks here, which we are doing,” he said.

A national survey by the Pew Research Center, suggests most Americans trust the government to prevent a major outbreak – 20% have a “great deal” of confidence, while another 38% said they have a “fair amount” of confidence.

A plane carrying American journalist Ashoka Mukpo, who contracted Ebola while working in Liberia, landed on Monday in Nebraska, where he will undergo treatment for the deadly disease.

Other US aid workers who have been flown home are now recovering after treatment.

A French nurse who contracted the virus in Liberia has recovered after having experimental medication in Paris.

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