Travel Trends Show Need for CDC Ebola Screenings at Airports

(Scottsdale, AZ) – A sharp drop in travel to West Africa is an indicator that the Centers for Disease Control’s initiative to screen passengers at five international airports is a positive measure to contain the spread of the deadly Ebola disease in the United States.

The number of clients that Passport Health sees going to West Africa has dropped 67% for the month of September and an overall decline for most of the third-quarter.  The two countries hit most are Guinea and Liberia where travel has decline 66.5% and 44% over the last two months.  Though this is not an indicator of all travel to and from Africa it does tend to show that most travel in the region would likely be from natives of that country who possibly could have come in contact with Ebola, which would help contain the disease.

“We feel the CDC is taking the necessary precautionary measure to help prevent the spread of Ebola,” says Melanie Kohr, Vice-President of Clinic Operations for Passport Health.  “With travel to and from Africa on the decline for Western tourists these testing measures will be very helpful in identifying anyone with the disease while not stalling air travel to the region or causing delays that could hurt domestic air travel.  It’s about striking a balance, and the CDC seems to be doing it well.”

The CDC plans to test the temperature of everyone coming into the five airports that have been shown to service almost 95% of travelers from West Africa in hopes that they will be able to identify anyone already showing symptoms of the virus before it is able to spread and infect more people throughout the United States.

The five airports are:  JFK in New York, New Jersey’s Newark, Chicago’s O’Hare airport, Washington Dulles and Atlanta’s Hartsfield airport.

While Passport Health will not be involved in the screening process, the company was a first responder to the 2001 Anthrax attacks and has participated in numerous vaccine trails and public health initiatives including FluFree.com which helps educate users about the flu and bolster immunization rates.

Ebola is a highly dangerous virus which can show symptoms anywhere from two to 21 days after exposure and causes fever, headache, diarrhea, vomiting and can lead to death.  The first case of the virus in the United States was documented in Dallas, TX just a few weeks ago.  No other cases have been confirmed.  This outbreak of the virus originated in the jungles of Western Africa and has infected more than 7,500 people and killed nearly half of them.

Passport Health is a leading provider of travel medicine and vaccination services in the North America, with over 230 clinic locations, 20+ years of experience, a commitment to first class medical care, and rigorously trained medical staff. Passport Health’s core services have grown from travel medicine to include on-site flu clinics, specialty physical exams, routine immunizations, and vaccination records management solutions for public and private sector clients of all sizes.

Passport Health, (480) 646-9064, Fax: (877) 440-1795, PassportHealthGlobal.com.

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