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U.S. Announces Stricter Ebola-Screening At Key Airports

Posted: October 21, 2014

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Arrivals from West African countries where the epidemic is raging will be subject to secondary screening at JFK, Newark, Dulles, Atlanta and Chicago.

Thomas Nellon, left, 17, and his brother Johnson Nellon, 14, of Liberia, smile at their mother in the arrivals area at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, earlier this month. The brothers received a health screening upon arrival. The U.S. says it will step up screening measures for arrivals from Ebola-affected West African countries.

Thomas Nellon, left, 17, and his brother Johnson Nellon, 14, of Liberia, smile at their mother in the arrivals area at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, earlier this month. The brothers received a health screening upon arrival. The U.S. says it will step up screening measures for arrivals from Ebola-affected West African countries. Craig Ruttle

The Department of Homeland Security has announced additional screening measures for arrivals from three West Africa countries at several major U.S. airports as part of measures to control the spread of Ebola.

The measures, set to go into effect on Wednesday, involved "secondary screening and added protocols, including having their temperature taken, before they can be admitted into the United States," for air passengers arriving from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, according to a statement issued by Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson.

The airports are New York's JFK, Newark, Washington D.C.'s Dulles, Atlanta and Chicago O'Hare.

"We are working closely with the airlines to implement these restrictions with minimal travel disruption," Johnson said in the statement on Tuesday. "If not already handled by the airlines, the few impacted travelers should contact the airlines for rebooking, as needed."

Meanwhile, a nurse in Madrid who contracted the Ebola virus while treating a Catholic missionary returning from West Africa is free of the virus, a second blood test has confirmed, according to Spanish health officials.

Teresa Romero, 44, who was diagnosed with Ebola two weeks ago became the first person diagnosed outside West Africa during the current Ebola outbreak, the largest since the virus was first discovered in 1976.

"We consider her cured of the Ebola virus by World Health Organization criteria," said Jose Ramon Arribas, doctor at the Carlos III Hospital in Madrid where the nurse is being treated, according to Reuters.

The mother of Amber Vinson, a U.S. nurse who became infected while treating Thomas Eric Duncan, the first case of Ebola diagnosed in the United States, says her daughter is doing well.

Deborah Berry tells ABC's Good Morning America that the family is "very confident" that Vinson is receiving good care at Emory and is relieved that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued stricter safety protocols for health care workers treating Ebola after Vinson and another nurse, Nina Pham, became infected.

Another Ebola patient evacuated from West Africa who was being treated at Emory has been released after being confirmed as free of the virus, hospital officials say. The man, who wishes to remain anonymous, was transported to the hospital in Atlanta on Sept. 9.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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