The promised extra screenings are beginning for the Ebola virus for international passengers arriving at Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport from West African nations, officials say.
Passengers from Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone — the three nations being ravaged by this deadly and contagious disease — as well as Lagos, Nigeria began getting extra screenings on Thursday by getting their temperature taken and answering questions, the head of the Atlanta airport stated.
Hartsfield-Jackson general manager Miguel Southwell told Atlanta City Council the Atlanta airport gets an average of about five passengers from those countries a day, WSB-TV reports. The number has been as high of 15 a day.
Moreover, the United States Coast Guard will step in to help U.S. Customs and Border Protection with the screening of passengers, while the Centers for Disease Control will also stationed at the airport. Other employees are also being trained, including Atlanta Fire Rescue, who respond to calls of ill people in the airport.
Someone suspected to have contracted the virus will be detained and workers will immediately don protective suits, Southwell said. The infected person will not be paraded through the airport as to avert a panic. The airport does not have a special ambulance for Ebola, but if an ambulance is used in such a situation, the vehicle would be treated afterward, Southwell promised.