In an effort to better detect passengers who may be infected with the deadly Ebola virus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is adding temperature screenings to its arrival procedures.
Passengers with flights that originated in West African countries plagued by Ebola will be subject to having their temperatures taken as part of the arrival process through TSA and U.S. Customs.
CDC officials will use no-touch thermometers to measure the passenger’s temperature.
Passengers with a fever will undergo further screening to determine if they are infected with Ebola.
Kennedy International Airport in New York City is reported to be the first airport to start the screenings.
Washington Dulles International in D.C., O’Hare International, Hartsfield Jackson International and Newark Liberty International are also expected to start the temperature screenings.
Nashville International Airport is not included in the screenings because it does not have any flights arriving directly from West Africa, according to Spokeswoman Shannon Sumrall said.
BNA, however; is prepared in the “very unlikely” event that a flight flying directly from one of those countries is diverted to Nashville.
Travelers News 2 spoke with at the Nashville airport said they were glad to hear the CDC is increasing efforts to stop Ebola from getting into the country.
“Definitely, especially for people flying internationally I think they need to,” traveler Denise Clark said. “The CDC keeps saying they have it under control and once you get to the U.S. it is not going to spread but seeing what is happening in Africa it is concerning.”
Shannon Traylor and her husband worry about sharing a flight with someone who may have come from one of those countries, but is taking a domestic flight to connect to their final destination.
“To be honest I do not know what all the symptoms are for me,” she said. “So I am glad they are stepping it up a little bit.”
The CDC points out that it is unlikely that someone can contract Ebola on an airplane. The virus is transmitted by coming into contact with bodily fluids like blood, urine and saliva.
Also, a patient is not contagious unless they have a fever or are showing other symptoms.
Symptoms of Ebola include fever, diarrhea, vomiting, unusual bleeding and bruising.
“I think that is a good precaution for,” Traylor said. “I know it may not detect all of it but if they are running a fever they would be able to say something is going on with their body.”
The TSA said local airports would be kept informed about temperature screening results, but federal authorities will administer the program.