O'Hare Airport Begins Ebola Screenings Thursday | NBC Chicago

O'Hare Airport Begins Ebola Screenings Thursday

Customs officials say about 150 people travel daily from or through Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea to the United States

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    NEWSLETTERS

    10/15/2014: People at O'hare Airport voice concerns about Ebola as new screening procedures are set to begin. DIck Johnson reports. (Published Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014)

    As a Dallas nurse who tested positive for Ebola travels to Atlanta for treatment, officials are emphasizing the importance of airport screenings.

    O’Hare Airport was named among five airports that would begin taking the temperatures of passengers from three West African countries starting Thursday.

    With Dallas nurse Amber Vinson’s arrival in Atlanta playing out live right next to arriving international passengers at O’Hare, travelers are keenly aware and increasingly concerned.

    “You can’t screen yourself for everything,” said international traveler Janet Johnson.

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    Customs officials say about 150 people travel daily from or through Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea to the United States.

    Nearly 95 percent of them land first at one of five airports in New York, Washington, Chicago, Atlanta and Newark.

    "We will, from this moment forward, ensure that no other individual who is being monitored for exposure undergoes travel,” said Tom Frieden, director for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    But Vinson did travel, with a low grade fever. And, after flying to Dallas Monday night, the same aircraft she was on carried passengers back to Cleveland on Tuesday then flew routes to Ft. Lauderdale and Atlanta.

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    Though fear may be growing, the plan at O’Hare remains the same---to begin screening tomorrow the few arriving passengers each day from three West African Ebola hotspots. Officials say they will ask travelers questions, take their temperatures and transport anyone showing Ebola-like symptoms to the hospital.