More Ebola screenings for travelers
More stringent screenings for the Ebola virus will be imposed on people traveling to the U.S. from West Africa, President Barack Obama announced yesterday, although he noted that the government will not ban people from traveling to the U.S. from that region.
A White House spokesman said airline travel to and from West Africa would not be stopped because officials did not want to negatively affect systems that are being used to send supplies and personnel to the hardest-hit countries in Africa.
People leaving Ebola-affected countries now are asked to fill out a questionnaire on whether they have symptoms such as a high fever and whether or not they have had any contact with someone who was diagnosed with Ebola. In Liberia, they also are scanned for fever.
Ebola is a deadly virus but one that is spread through bodily fluids, such as blood and saliva, and not through the air. So far, of the 10 people exposed to the virus through Thomas Eric Duncan, the Ebola patient is a Dallas hospital, none are currently showing Ebola symptoms. Duncan remains in critical condition and is said to be "fighting for his life."
Concern about the virus is also high in Europe, where the first case of Ebola being contracted outside of West Africa was reported on Monday. Spanish health officials said a nurse who treated a priest brought to Madrid with Ebola last month, and who died of the disease, had also been infected.