Five US Airports To Begin Screening For Ebola

Wednesday, October 8th 2014, 4:30 pm
By: Dana Hertneky

The Federal government says it will begin screening for Ebola at five US airports that handle a large majority of passengers from Western Africa.

When Moore resident Glenn Haring's flight from Dallas touched down at Will Rogers on Friday night he and the other passengers noticed a woman in the front of the plane who seemed to be sick. 

“The flight attendant came up and said, ‘Is something wrong?' And she said that she had thrown up,” said Haring.

That's when the attendant asked the woman where she was from and she answered Kenya, Africa.

“The clear discussion with everybody was could she be sick from Ebola, traveling from Kenya, from Africa of course,” said Haring. “I didn't know at the time, know where Kenya is in Africa.”

Glenn later learned Kenya is in East Africa. The Ebola outbreak is in West Africa. Still, the incident highlights the concern surrounding how easily someone may be able to get into the country with the deadly virus.

10/8/014 Related Story: US Airports, Border Crossings To Check Travelers For Ebola

But now Ebola screenings will begin at New York's JFK Airport, Newark, Dulles, Chicago and Atlanta. An airport spokesperson says for those flying in and out of Will Rogers World Airport, nothing will really change since all the flights coming in are domestic.

“We would like to encourage people not to panic,” said Will Rogers spokesperson, Karen Carney.

Carney says the airline personnel and flight attendants have procedures in place to deal with situations such as this.

“Many of the airlines have contact with the CDC. If they have somebody on the plane that is showing any kinds of symptoms, they usually ask if there is a doctor on the plane so they can kind of assess what is going on.”

Carney says airports and airlines have dealt with situations like this before with the SARS outbreak, Avian Flu and the Swine Flu.

News 9 did contact American Airlines and a spokesperson said they have no record of a sick passenger on that flight.