Do you know what to expect at the airport the next time you travel internationally? Well, I decided to present the top 3 things you need to know about airports and Ebola. Right now, the Department of Homeland Security is sending mixed messages because each State is handling the Ebola "crisis" differently. The DHS has a responsibility to help out with national health concerns on a threatening level, but each State also has to make decisions based on their specific needs and population concerns.
Either way, below are the top 3 across-the-board things to know about Ebola at airports.
1. Starting 11/01/13, all International airports will start screening for Ebola. There are no nonstop flights to the U.S. from Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea, the three countries hardest-hit by Ebola. Nearly 95% of the roughly 150 people traveling daily from or through those West African countries to the U.S. land first at one of the five airports selected for extra screening.
2. Homeland Security employees at airports will use no-touch thermometers to take the temperatures of passengers who have come from or through West Africa.
3. If you present a fever at an International airport, know the DHS isn't playing games. Case-by-case, health workers and the DHS will direct the passenger either to the local medical system or public health system for possible treatment or routine follow-ups, including daily temperature readings for the 21-day Ebola incubation period. There are quarantine areas at each of the five International airports that can be used, if necessary.
Please pass this information on to anyone you know who will be traveling after Saturday. :)
Until next time,
Twyla N. Garrett