Ebola Airport Screening Essentially Useless

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As many have already read, there will be new screening of passengers arriving at New York’s Kennedy International Airport who leave from Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea. Besides questioning these passengers, they will have their temperature interrogated by no-touch thermometers. The screening will then expand to

Newark Liberty, Washington Dulles, Chicago O’Hare and Hartsfield-Jackson airports. Customs says that 95 percent of people entering the United States from Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea come through one of these 5 airports.

Superficially, this screening sounds both logical and possibly even effective. However, a closer inspection will clarify its major shortcomings. First, the Ebola-virus may take up to 3 weeks before an infected person may manifest any signs of the disease—including a fever. So if an infected person enters the US within the first three weeks after contracting Ebola, he or she would theoretically able to pass the temperature test and be allowed into the country. In the end, the testing will only identify those who are actively showing signs of the illness. And if they are currently showing signs of the illness, all those they were in direct contact with may have already potentially come in contact with the Ebola virus.

Many critics cite the fact that a person needs to be in direct contact with bodily fluids from an Ebola infected patient to contract the disease. In essence that is correct. However, what is not stated is that the disease can be spread through water particles. So if an infected person sneezes or coughs on a person, they could potentially be spreading the deadly virus.

Critics may also site this scenario as a simple scare tactic. However, take the example of Spanish nurse Teresa Romero. She explicitly states that although she came into contact with an Ebola patient she had NO contact with the person’s bodily fluids and does not know how she acquired the disease.

In the end, why are we allowing any person to enter the United States from Ebola infected areas? In our insane effort as a country to remain politically correct, we are jeopardizing the safety our health in the process. Plus, the screening methods we are instituting are far from effective and will do little to stop the influx of the virus into our country. Plus, heaven forbid if the virus mutates into a more virulent strain.

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