Home Ebola DHS: Flights From Ebola Nations Must Arrive at 1 of 5 US Airports

DHS: Flights From Ebola Nations Must Arrive at 1 of 5 US Airports

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By Glynn Cosker
Editor, In Homeland Security

The Department of Homeland Security announced Tuesday that all flights arriving from Ebola-stricken West African countries must arrive at one of five specific U.S. airports with adequate Ebola screening stations in place.

Starting Oct. 22, any flights arriving from the Ebola-ravaged region of Africa must stop at Newark, Washington Dulles, Atlanta, New York’s JFK or Chicago O’Hare. The five international airports already welcome a majority of travelers from Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia—nations with more than 4,000 fatalities from the Ebola virus so far this year.

Today, I am announcing that all passengers arriving in the United States whose travel originates in Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea will be required to fly into one of the five airports that have the enhanced screening and additional resources in place. We are working closely with the airlines to implement these restrictions with minimal travel disruption. If not already handled by the airlines, the few impacted travelers should contact the airlines for rebooking, as needed.

We currently have in place measures to identify and screen anyone at all land, sea and air ports of entry into the United States who we have reason to believe has been present in Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea in the preceding 21 days.” ~ Jeh Johnson, Secretary of Homeland Security.

As of Oct. 14, there were 4,249 cases of the Ebola virus in Liberia, 410 in Sierra Leone and 1,519 in Guinea according to the CDC. Approximately 150 travelers from the Ebola-stricken regions arrive in the United States each day according to U.S. Customs officials.

Since Ebola screening began earlier this month, the Department of Homeland Security reports that of the 550 travelers arriving from the Ebola hot zone in Africa, only three recorded a high temperature. Screening involves a no-touch thermometer and a brief interview including questions about possible contact with Ebola patients or victims.

A high fever is typically—but not always—the first symptom of the Ebola virus.

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