Health officials in the United States are ramping up screening at airports in an attempt to prevent the spread of the deadly Ebola virus.
There are several measures currently under review by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that may be implemented at American airports in the near future. The first would involve checking the temperatures of at-risk passengers, while a second proposed measure would require passengers to undergo detailed questioning as soon as they arrive at a U.S. airport.
All we know right now is that changes are coming, but CDC director Dr. Thomas R. Frieden has yet to outline specific plans for preventing Ebola’s spread. “We recognize that whatever we do, until the disease is controlled in Africa, we can’t get the risk to zero here,” Dr. Frieden said. “We may be able to reduce it and we’ll look at every opportunity to do that.”
The good news is that only one case of Ebola has been diagnosed in the United States. However, that’s more than enough for Congress, which is pressuring the Obama administration to do more to protect the American people.
But there are limits to how far the CDC will go, Frieden says. The agency remains set against travel bans to West Africa, where the Ebola outbreak is most visible, because that would prevent aid workers from helping in the fight against the disease.
“If we do something that impedes our ability to stop the outbreak in West Africa, it could spread further there, we could have more countries like Liberia, and the challenge would be much greater and go on for a longer time,” Frieden said.