Concerns over Ebola in the United States have escalated due to the prolonged nature of the disease; symptoms can take two weeks to appear. Given the ease with which the virus can travel via plane through a carrier who does not yet know he is infected, Breitbart News attempted to contact the FAA, TSA, and CDC about airport safety procedures. All three agencies did not respond to public concern over the deadly disease.
The FAA is based in Washington, DC and split into regions across the country. Breitbart News requested information from each regional office regarding specific procedures in the area, but each press contact directed questions back to the FAA’s main headquarters. There is still no response after four days.
Breitbart News then contacted the TSA, asking how officers proceed with passengers to and from areas affected by Ebola. The press secretary said the CDC is in charge of the procedures. The CDC has not responded to questions, but their website does offer generic travel warnings to Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea. They said people should cancel nonessential travel to these countries, placing their warning at Level 3, the highest grade of travel warning. The CDC writes the governments “recently instituted enhanced measures to combat the spread of Ebola.”
Buried within the CDC website is a guide sheet for airlines about Ebola. By law, the captain of the plane must report ill travelers to the center.
CDC staff can be consulted to assist in evaluating an ill traveler, provide recommendations, and answer questions about reporting requirements; however, reporting to CDC does not replace usual company procedures for in-flight medical consultation or obtaining medical assistance.
CDC routinely conducts contact investigations to alert other passengers and crew of their exposure to ill travelers with certain diseases who were possibly contagious on their flight.
Yet, the CDC or the FAA did not say if any airlines or airports asked the departments for extra help concerning Ebola. Some airports in west Africa screen passengers for Ebola.
British Airways and Emirates cancelled flights to West Africa because of Ebola while other airlines reduce flights to the region. Air France and Lufthansa screen passengers before they board a plane.
“Passengers must fill in a questionnaire when entering the airport lounge,” Air France said. “They then have their temperature taken within the airport itself. They are only given their boarding card if no medical symptoms are present.”