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Ebola: U.S. Starts Screening West Africa Air Passengers

Federal health officials will start screening passengers from West Africa at five major international airports to step up efforts to prevent the deadly Ebola virus from entering the country.

Passengers from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea will have their temperatures checked and have to answer a questionnaire about their exposure to the disease, BBC reported. The announcement came a few hours after an infected Liberian national, Thomas Eric Duncan, died in a Dallas hospital on Wednesday.

Duncan was the first person to be diagnosed with the disease in the U.S. and at least one hundred other people were possibly exposed to the virus while Duncan was showing symptoms four days after he arrived in Dallas, creating fears over the spread of the virus.

Theses safety measures will be implemented at  O’Hare International in Chicago, Kennedy International and Newark International in the New York area, Washington’s Dulles International, and Atlanta’s airport in the coming days.

JFK receives around 43 percent of people who enter the U.S. from Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone. The screening will start on Saturday, The New York Times reported.

After the passport check, health workers will check the travelers’ temperature and give them a questionnaire about symptoms and their possible exposure to the virus. If they answer yes to any questions or are running a fever, they will be quarantined area and evaluated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Fact sheets will be also be distributed to travelers with information on symptoms of Ebola and instructions to call a doctor if they become sick within three weeks.

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