Hospital in Newark, NJ admits possible Ebola patient

Newark nurses

By Yolanda Spivey

An airline passenger was detained at the Newark Liberty International Airport on Tuesday afternoon, after exhibiting signs that he/she may have been infected with the Ebola virus.

The unidentified passenger was taken to Newark’s University Hospital for further evaluation. The hospital, who has an agreement with the CDC to detain individuals with Ebola like symptoms or any other communicable disease, quickly quarantined the individual.

A spokesperson from the Centers for Disease Control stated, “During the enhanced screening process for individuals arriving to the United States from Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea, an individual was identified as reporting symptoms or having a potential exposure to Ebola.”

She further stated that the CDC and other state and local health officials will contact other passengers on the aircraft “should it be determined that there was any risk to the other passengers of exposure to [the] communicable disease.”

Authorities didn’t release the passenger’s name, gender or the country of origin.

The Wall Street Journal reports that “the person was stopped hours after the Department of Homeland Security announced that flights carrying people from the three West Africa countries most affected by the Ebola outbreak would be routed to five U.S. airports.. The majority of those travelers from West Africa arrive at New York’s John F. Kennedy International airport; less than a dozen or so passengers arrive at Newark daily.”

We’ve previously reported on the enhanced screenings for Ebola at major airports around the United States. Those five major airports are currently hiring for Ebola screeners with a starting pay at $19 an hour.

The screeners will work in connection with Customs, Border Protection and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  They will use a  no-touch thermometer or “infrared temperature gun,” to take the temperature of passengers who are exhibiting Ebola like symptoms.

According to data released by the Department of Homeland Security on Tuesday, 404 passengers have been stopped in enhanced screenings at JFK and Newark from Oct. 11 to Oct. 20. Of that group, 37 came through Newark and five of those people had an elevated fever.


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