Updated 01:38 PM EDT, Thu, Oct 21, 2021

Ebola Virus Outbreak 2014 News & Update: U.S. to Screen Air Passengers for Possible Infection

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The president of the United States has revealed that the government will be taking on additional precautionary measures against the widespread Ebola virus disease.

"We're ... going to be working on protocols to do additional passenger screening both at the source and here in the United States," Obama said, as quoted by Fox News.

According to BBC, the president was speaking with US Health officials on Monday--assuring the public that the country can stop the virus "in its tracks."

Obama did not elaborate as to how such "protocols" would work but quoting Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Fox News said that it could include "new measures at U.S. airports."

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Dr. Tom Frieden said that specifically, "the extra screening might include asking travelers who they had contact with and checking to see if they have a fever," reported Fox News.

An op-ed piece by The New York Times stressed that travelers from Ebola-stricken countries already undergo screening before flight yet an infected passenger still managed to get through.

"Their temperatures are checked, and they must fill out a detailed questionnaire asking if they have various symptoms, such as fever, headache or vomiting, and if they have had any contact with Ebola patients or other possible exposures," said the report.

However, the key to success in using such screening is reportedly "honesty", something which was missing when Thomas Eric Duncan, the first Ebola patient diagnosed in the United States, answered the questionnaire, The New York Times said.

Senator Rob Portman, via CNN, said that currently, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) do a "passive" screening for the virus.

"This means that CBP only stops travelers who are showing symptoms of Ebola. Carriers of Ebola who are not yet showing symptoms could enter the country without so much as a question about their potential contact with the disease."

Obama also addressed the issue during his Monday speech saying that he has "not seen other countries step up as aggressively as they need to," quoted Fox News.

"Countries that think that they can sit on the sidelines and just let the United States do it, that will result in a less effective response, a less speedy response, and that means that people die," BBC quoted the president.

As of press time, no news of travel bans or restrictions from Ebola-stricken countries are in place.

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