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Enhanced Ebola screenings begin at JFK

JFK airport in New York is the first of five U.S. airports to begin screening travelers from Ebola-hit nations using no-touch thermometers to detect fevers.

By Ben Hooper
Enhanced Ebola screenings begin at JFK
Electron micrograph photo of the Ebola virus (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

NEW YORK, Oct. 11 (UPI) -- New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport began enhanced screening procedures Saturday for travelers from the African nations hit hardest by Ebola.

Officials with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed in a Saturday morning news conference the screening procedures were beginning for travelers coming into JFK from Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

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The protocols are due to be expanded to Washington Dulles International Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport, Chicago O'Hare International Airport and Atlanta International Airport next week, the officials said.

The new protocols involve passengers flying in from the affected countries being checked for fevers using no-contact thermometers. Those found to have higher-than-normal temperatures will be questioned to determine potential exposure to Ebola and may be sent to quarantine areas set up at the airports.

The CDC said the five airports instituting the enhanced screening protocols account for 94 percent of the travelers who arrive in the United States daily from the countries hit the hardest by Ebola.

The World Health Organization's latest update said 4,033 people have died from confirmed, probable or suspected Ebola infections.

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