Federal health officials are focusing their attention on New York as a key potential Ebola point of entry, with a new report warning: “Ongoing transmission of Ebolavirus in West Africa could result in an infected person arriving in NYC.”
The report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted that New York is key entry point for those coming in from West Africa, but apparently so far Ebola free.
“New York City is a frequent port of entry for travelers from West Africa, a home to communities of West African immigrants who travel back to their home countries, and a home to healthcare workers who travel to West Africa to treat Ebola patients,” said the early warning report titled “Surveillance and Preparedness for Ebola Virus Disease — New York City, 2014.”
With cases already in Dallas and Atlanta, city and federal officials are getting ready in the Big Apple. “The announcement on Sept. 30 of an Ebola case diagnosed in Texas in a person who had recently arrived from an Ebola-affected country further reinforced the need in NYC for local preparedness for Ebola,” said the report.
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New York is well prepared for detecting the virus, having faced many other similar situations in the past.
Already, the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has identified 88 people arriving from the Ebola nations thought to have symptoms of the virus, but all were cleared. However, the report said that the diagnosis of some patients was delayed “because of hesitancy by healthcare providers to examine patients or by laboratory workers to handle specimens.”
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The city has distributed posters for airports and other ports of entry asking those entering America to reveal their travel history and current illness.
The CDC also included a detailed explanation sheet on what officials should look for and subsequently do if Ebola is detected.
New York's JFK International Airport began screening entering air passengers on Saturday.
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at email@example.com.