Passengers Travelling From High Risk Countries Screened
Screenings for Ebola have begun at airports in Birmingham and Manchester for passengers travelling from high risk countries.
Public Health England said airport staff will check those travelling from places such as Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. Ebola checks started last month in Heathrow Airport before extending to Gatwick and Eurostar.
Over 1,500 people have died from the virus in Sierra Leone, totalling up to 5,000 deaths in West Africa. In September up to 1,000 people arrived from affected West-African countries into the UK.
Ebola is spread through bodily fluids, contact with blood or saliva can spread the deathly virus. The screenings work as follows:
- Taking temperatures to spot fever
- Asking questions to check for risk
- Issuing advice on what to do if passenger feels unwell afterwards
A Public Health England spokeswoman said, “It is being undertaken to help ensure individuals arriving from high-risk areas know what to do if they start feeling ill, and can receive expert advice immediately.”
Chief operating officer at Manchester Airports Group, Andrew Cowan stated, “We are working closely with all our partners, particularly Public Health England, who are managing the screening programme to ensure the impact on our passengers is minimised as they travel through the airport.”
“Public Health England initially ruled out screening because the risk of Ebola arriving in the UK was low and would mean screening “huge numbers of low-risk people”.