The U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) announced Thursday evening that passengers entering the U.S. from three West African countries will be screened for Ebola upon arrival at five airports — New York JFK, Newark Liberty, Chicago O'Hare, Washington Dulles, and Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson.
NBC News reports the first screenings will begin on Saturday at JFK, on passengers specifically on flights from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Travelers will be questioned about their possible exposure history, and will be analyzed for symptoms, including a fever. Their temperatures will be taken via a laser thermometer, so screeners are not required to touch the possibly-infected traveler.
Passengers with Ebola symptoms will be taken to a separate area for additional screening to confirm whether or not they have Ebola. If they test positive, they'll obviously be taken to a medical facility. If they test negative, they'll still be required to take their temperature daily, and share contact information with authorities. Thomas Eric Duncan, the first U.S. Ebola patient, passed away in Dallas on Wednesday morning. Airline industry critics were quick to note that Duncan was not exhibiting a fever or other Ebola symptoms when he arrived in the U.S., so even if he had been screened this way, he would have still passed through. The CDC says this screening provides an additional layer of protection against those traveling from Ebola "hot zones" by collecting information on where they may be reached and followed up with.
Top image: Washington Dulles Airport, where Thomas Eric Duncan entered the U.S. (Getty Images)