The CDC has confirmed that there was no reported cases of Ebola in Boston. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was forced to make the public statement after five people were removed from an Emirates Airline flight that traveled from Dubai to Boston. The passengers displayed flu-like symptom, and were removed and isolated for an “overabundance of precaution.”
According to the CDC, the passengers were isolated for a short period of time because of a “constellation of symptoms and the patients’ travel history.”
The Ebola scare in Boston was also on the mind of Jean Saunders, a passenger who was flying from London to Boston. During her trip authorities evaluated a sick passenger on her flight. Saunders tells WNYT.com, “We weren’t allowed off the plane because there was a sick child on the plane who’d been vomiting all of the time across the Atlantic, and so they called the paramedics. They had to make sure the child was OK to get permission for everybody to disembark.”
The Ebola screening process at New York’s JFK International Airport has increased to include personnel carrying no-touch thermometers, which they use to scan passengers arriving from African countries.
Because of SARS and the Swine flu, many airports throughout the country are already equipped with isolation rooms, and isolation gear that can help prevent the immediate spread of deadly diseases.
It is important to remember that not all people who have contracted the Ebola virus will show immediate symptoms. Even with proper screening, the disease has an incubation period between two and 21 days. Ebola is not contagious until a patient begins to show outward symptoms from the disease.
While there may not be Ebola in Boston at this time, officials expect to extend airport testing to the area, and other major hubs in the coming weeks. Testing for now will be focused primarily on individuals arriving in the United States from African countries.