• Ebola screenings begin at Atlanta airport

    Updated:

    ATLANTA - Ebola screening begins Thursday at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.
     
    Officials will conduct a visual inspection for domestic passengers, looking for heavy sweating or vomiting. Those making connections from West Africa will have their temperatures taken.
     
    There are no direct flights from the West African countries affected by the deadly virus – Guinea, Sierra Leona and Liberia – so officials at the airport will screen international passengers who arrive on connecting flights.
     
    Anyone with a fever will be checked out by an Atlanta Fire Rescue paramedic. If the paramedic deems that person a risk, the CDC will assess if the traveler had potential exposure to the Ebola virus.
     
    If that answer is yes, the person will immediately be put in isolation and transferred to a local hospital by paramedics donning protective gear.
     
    The international terminal and concourse D both have isolation chambers.
     
    Anyone who may have come in contact with the passenger along the way – from ticket handlers to paramedics – will don special gloves.
     
    Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport General Manager Miguel Southwell said the problem is that people tend to touch their faces more than a dozen times a day, and that’s a risk.
     
    “If you’re wearing those gloves and you get a little itch on your face or whatever, you’re not supposed to touch your face. And that is perhaps the toughest thing to train people to do,” Southwell said.
     
    Southwell said only about 5 to 15 people arrive from those high-risk countries each day.


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