Obama Administration Announces Plans To Step Up Airport Screening For Ebola
Though President Barack Obama did not say exactly how screening procedures would change, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said officials would consider a variety of options.
The New York Times: Ebola Screening At Airports Will Increase, Obama Says
As this city waited anxiously to learn whether Ebola has spread beyond one victim, President Obama announced on Monday that the government would increase screening for the virus at airports both in the United States and in West Africa. Mr. Obama made the announcement after being briefed in Washington by Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Mr. Obama called the fight against Ebola “a top national security priority,” but did not specify how screening would be changed. Dr. Frieden said that officials would explore a variety of options (Sack, 10/6).
Los Angeles Times: Obama Announces Plans For New Ebola Screening Of Airline Passengers
After meeting with his senior health, homeland security and national security advisors, President Obama told reporters that in the wake of the first Ebola case diagnosed in the U.S., officials would study increasing screening plans (Hennessy-Fiske and Muskal, 10/6).
NBC News: Obama Ready To Ramp Up Ebola Airport Screening
The Obama administration is talking about ramping up screening of travelers who come from Ebola-infected countries. NBC News has learned that likely will mean adding CDC staffers at four airports: JFK in New York, Newark in New Jersey, Chicago and Washington Dulles. They'll question travelers about where they have been and take their temperatures. A fever can be one of the first symptoms of Ebola infection, although it's also a symptom of malaria, influenza and many other infections (Costello, 10/6).
CBS News: Obama: We "Learned Some Lessons" From Dallas Ebola Patient
President Obama reiterated again Monday that the chances of an Ebola outbreak in the United States are "extremely low," but that the case of a Liberian man who began exhibiting symptoms of disease after arriving in Dallas shows how vigilant U.S. health workers must be. It was revealed last week that Thomas Eric Duncan, the patient, was released from the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital on Sept. 26 when he came in complaining of a fever and abdominal pains. Even though a nurse learned he had recently traveled to the U.S. from West Africa, he was not tested for Ebola until he returned two days later (Kaplan, 10/6).
Meanwhile, in other news related to the public health response --
The Associated Press: U.S. Health Providers Expand Their Ebola Precautions
Public hospitals in New York City are concerned enough about Ebola that they've secretly been sending actors with mock symptoms into emergency rooms to test how well the triage staffs identify and isolate possible cases. A small hospital in the Ohio countryside has hung up signs imploring patients to let nurses know immediately if they have traveled recently to West Africa. And across the U.S., one of the nation's largest ambulance companies has put together step-by-step instructions on how to wrap the interior of a rig with plastic sheeting while transporting a patient (Caruso, 10/7).
CNN: Ebola Drugs Are In The Works
Scientists racing to develop something that will stop the largest Ebola epidemic in history are trying a variety of experimental drugs on patients. Without a cure, the disease has killed at least 3,431 people and infected 7,470 at last count. The first American known to have come down with the disease on U.S. soil, Thomas Duncan, may be receiving a drug called brincidofovir, according to his nephew Joe Weeks. The biopharmaceutical company Chimerix got approval from the FDA for emergency use on Duncan on Friday. Duncan is currently in critical condition in Dallas (Christensen, 10/6).