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Ebola airport screening is dangerously inadequate

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posted on Oct, 3 2014 @ 04:54 AM
Screening methods at West African airports, where potential Ebola carriers are boarding planes, are inadequate. The screening methods can be defeated by lying (as happened with Patient Duncan in Dallas) and if you are showing symptoms, temporarily masking them with ibuprofen:

At the very least, they said, travelers arriving from Ebola-stricken countries should be screened for fever, which is currently done on departure from Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. But such safeguards are not foolproof.

"The fever-screening instruments run low and aren't that accurate," said infection control specialist Sean Kaufman, president of Behavioral-Based Improvement Solutions, a biosafety company based in Atlanta.

"And people can take ibuprofen to reduce their fever enough to pass screening, and why wouldn't they? If it will get them on a plane so they can come to the United States and get effective treatment after they're exposed to Ebola, wouldn't you do that to save your life?"

Source: Reuters Africa

Meanwhile, at least two airlines continue to fly out of the international airports in the affected regions. So far we are fortunate that the Patient Zero in Dallas was identified and that an obviously sick man was quarantined upon arriving in Nigeria, but we don't know how many others have slipped through the cracks.

Here are the airports, airlines and connecting cities to the region:


Air Côte d'Ivoire: Abidjan (suspended)
Air France: Paris-Charles de Gaulle
ASKY Airlines: Abidjan, Bamako, Dakar, Lomé, Ouagadougou (all services suspended)
Brussels Airlines: Brussels
Douniah Airlines: Bamako, Dakar (suspended)
Emirates: Dakar (suspended), Dubai-International (suspended)
Mauritania Airlines International: Dakar (suspended), Nouakchott (suspended)

Royal Air Maroc Casablanca
Sénégal Airlines: Dakar (suspended)
Turkish Airlines: Istanbul-Ataturk (begins 1 December 2014)

Source: I would not normally use Wikipedia as a "source" but in this case they have done a good job updating the departure lists with links to news stories indicating suspended flights.


Airlines Destinations
Air Côte d'Ivoire Abidjan, Monrovia (all services suspended)
Air France, Paris-Charles de Gaulle (suspended beginning 28 August 2014)
Arik Air Banjul, Dakar, Lagos (all services suspended)
ASKY Airlines Accra, Lomé, Monrovia-Spriggs Payne[6] (all services suspended)
British Airways London-Heathrow (suspended until 31 December 2014)

Brussels Airlines Brussels, Monrovia
Eagle Atlantic Airlines Abidjan (suspended)[a], Accra, Dakar, Monrovia (suspended)
Gambia Bird Accra, Banjul, Dakar, Douala, London-Gatwick, Lagos, Monrovia (all services suspended)
Kenya Airways Accra, Nairobi-Jomo Kenyatta (all services suspended)

Royal Air Maroc Casablanca, Monrovia


ETA: Where Patient Zero for Dallas apparently lied his way through the checkpoint
Airlines Destinations
Air Côte d'Ivoire Abidjan, Freetown(all services suspended)
Arik Air Accra, Lagos[29] (all services suspended)
British Airways London-Heathrow (suspended until 31 March 2015)

Brussels Airlines Brussels, Freetown
Eagle Atlantic Airlines Abidjan, Accra, Freetown (all services suspended)
Gambia Bird Accra, Banjul, Dakar, Douala, Freetown, Lagos (all services suspended)
Kenya Airways Accra, Nairobi-Jomo Kenyatta (all services suspended)

Royal Air Maroc Casablanca, Freetown


As you can see from these lists, all three international airports in the affected countries are served by only a limited number of airlines. British Airways, most African national airlines, and all Middle Eastern airlines have suspended flights. Two airlines have not, Royal Air Maroc and Brussels Airlines.

Royal Air Maroc (the national airline of the Kingdom of Morrocco) has announced it will continue its flights. This is troublesome because connecting flights from Casablanca can be a vector. In addition, many African migrants who reach Casablanca then illegally cross the Mediterranean into Spain (or more simply cross a fence into Ceuta, territorial Spain on the African coast). It is fair to say that Royal Air Maroc is not a publicly traded company and is answerable to the government and ultimately the King of Morrocco.

Brussels Airlines: the national airline of Belgium has made a special announcement it will continue to serve the affected region. This is likely the carrier most aid workers and journalist are using. However ordinary travelers are still on it. This is the airline Patient Zero for Dallas used. Obviously their exit screening processes do not exist. Brussels Airlines is owned by a complicated cartel of other companies, including Lufthansa (45%) and banks and other airlines.

The only logical thing to do is that any flights from Brussels or Casablanca should have its passengers screened on arrival, to see if they have traveled from the affected the region, handled infected people, and check their temperatures.

In the United States at least, there are no plans to do so, according to spokesperson for the CDC:

CDC spokesman Benjamin Haynes told The Huffington Post the agency has no intention of increasing screenings at the nation's airports. Instead, he says, the CDC will continue to advise customs and border control officials about how to spot Ebola symptoms in travelers. The agency will also be providing informational pamphlets that list symptoms of the disease to people traveling from Ebola-affected regions. Haynes suggests travelers monitor their health in the days after their arrival.

That is pathetic. How are customs agents trained medical professionals? Why lie and say it is too hard to screen people from EVERY country when you mainly need to focus on those coming in on connecting flights from those two airlines - BRUSSELS AIRLINES and ROYAL AIR MAROCH - or from the cities of BRUSSELS and CASABLANCA or anyone with a passport or passport stamp from the affected region.


CDC spokesman Benjamin Haynes needs to be removed from his position and more importantly, airport exit screenings need to be put in place for those airlines, airports, and passports.
edit on 10/3/2014 by Nicorette because: (no reason given)

edit on 10/3/2014 by Nicorette because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 3 2014 @ 05:10 AM
a reply to: Nicorette

We seem yet again to be putting the interests of commerce and business over the health of people. Surely its time to stop all planes going to and from the country's affected with this epidemic until it has run its course. Don't they have rail services and roads for bringing in essential goods and medicines etc rather than expose the rest of the world to this disease?

posted on Oct, 3 2014 @ 05:11 AM
Here's a link for an idea of restrictions in some African countries: reply to: Nicorette

posted on Oct, 3 2014 @ 06:36 AM
More stupid fear porn. I'm not buying it. Another pathetic attempt to treat us like animals.

posted on Oct, 3 2014 @ 06:42 AM
You would think that the Homeland Security people at the gates would have a better chance than anyone of contacting Ebola. They come within a few feet of people's faces and ask questions. Now, these people would have to fight to get any help from workmans comp. That insurance usually denies all claims right off the bat to deter people from collecting a penny. I know this because....I was an employer who actually asked questions. If an employer sticks up for the employee then the liability goes back to the employer for the incident. You actually sign a paper about this as an employer stating you have to back the workers comp company.

Don't blame your employer for problems with Workers comp immediately if something happens.

Sorry for being off topic.

posted on Oct, 3 2014 @ 08:49 AM
a reply to: rickymouse

I think it's a relevant point and on-topic. If being a TSA checker was a bad job before, it is possibly going to get much, much worse.

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