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(Above Image: Color-enhanced electron micrograph of Ebola virus particles. Courtesy: Thomas W. Geisbert, Boston University School of Medicine)
It turns out when CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden said officials were doing “everything we can to protect Americans” from the threat of Ebola, it wasn’t quite everything.
Two federal agencies have announced new plans to enhance safety.
Starting tomorrow, the Department of Homeland Security will require all U.S. bound passengers from the primary Ebola-infected West African nations to arrive at one of the five U.S. airports with enhanced screening. That will close the gap caused by passengers arriving at airports not subject to the special measures. Those measures include checking for fever in arriving passengers. They do not address the possibility that an Ebola-infected traveler took Tylenol or another fever-reducing medicine to temporarily mask the fever for U.S. entry.
The five airports with enhanced screenings are: New York’s JFK, Newark, Dulles, Atlanta and Chicago.
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson issued a statement saying,
“We currently have in place measures to identify and screen anyone at all land, sea and air ports of entry into the United States and who we have reason to believe has been present in Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea in the preceding 21 days.”
Additionally, Monday night, the CDC announced stepped up guidelines for healthcare workers treating Ebola patients. It now says they should wear double sets of gloves, full face shields, hoods and special masks. This after two U.S. nurses became infected while treating an Ebola patient from Liberia at a Dallas hospital.