Last week, Liberian man Thomas Eric Duncan died from Ebola at hospital in Dallas, Texas. Duncan was the first patient diagnosed in the United States with the virus. Duncan’s death has brought even more awareness to Ebola, and has raised security questions about travelers coming from West Africa, prompting airports to increase screening.
Ebola has run rampant across West Africa this summer killing almost 4,000 victims, and now the United States government is faced with dealing with the virus on U.S. ground. So, starting this past weekend, the White House has issued additional screening for travelers arriving from West Africa. New York’s John F. Kennedy airport began the process this weekend, with plans for Newark Liberty, Washington Dulles, Chicago O’Hare and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta to start screening this week.
Although the country is now actively trying to prevent Ebola carriers from entering the country, Duncan’s care has raised many questions. Before being admitted to the hospital on September 28, Duncan attempted to receive care on September 26, but was turned away with only antibiotics. Ebola experts are also looking into his treatment once admitted, which included an experimental drug called brincidofovir, which had not yet been tested on humans or animals, rather than TKM-Ebola, a medicine by Tekmira made specifically for the virus. Duncan himself was not given extra screening when arriving to the United States, but passengers arriving from West Africa will now be subjected to a non-invasive device that will take temperatures, as well as a detailed questionnaire created by the U.S. Centers for Disease control and Prevention (CDC).