Starting Monday, travelers whose trips originated in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea and traveling to one of 5 US airports – John F. Kennedy (JFK), Newark Liberty (EWR), Chicago’s O’Hare (ORD), Washington’s Dulles (IAD) and Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson (ATL) – will be required by the Centers for Disease Control to check in every day for 21 days with their state or local health departments and report their morning and evening temperatures and list any other symptoms, such as nausea, diarrhea, muscle aches or bleeding.
According to the CDC, “travelers will receive a CARE (Check And Report Ebola) kit at the airport that contains a tracking log and pictorial description of symptoms, a thermometer, guidance for how to monitor with thermometer, a wallet card on who to contact if they have symptoms and that they can present to a health care provider, and a health advisory infographic on monitoring health for three weeks.”
The CDC is also requiring travelers undergoing active monitoring to report, “their intent to travel in-state or out-of-state. In the event a traveler does not report in, state or local public health officials will take immediate steps to locate the individual to ensure that active monitoring continues on a daily basis.”
The monitoring program is designed for 21 days because, according to the CDC, “Twenty-one days is the longest time it can take from the time a person is infected with Ebola until that person has symptoms of Ebola,” and the monitoring program will be for visitors as well as aid workers, journalists and other Americans returning from the areas in West Africa hardest hit by Ebola – Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea.
The CDC is also working with Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea to increase the exit screening procedures as well as the increasing the screening coming into the USA. The CDC hopes that the enhanced 21-day monitoring program will help isolate and contain the deadly virus. In addition, President Obama’s Ebola Czar, Ron Klain, starts Monday as well.