Enhanced Ebola screenings began Saturday at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport as authorities moved to ensure passengers potentially carrying the virus don’t make it into the United States.
Anyone traveling from Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone will be singled out by Customs and Border Protection, who will take their temperature with a non-contact thermometer and ask them a series of questions, the New York Times reports.
Kennedy is the first of five American airports planning to tighten screening protocols in an effort to protect the U.S. from the disease’s possible spread. But health officials warned that the only way to stop Ebola is to defeat it in West Africa.
Still, experts say the state of medical care in the U.S. and the current precautions mean that the likelihood of widespread infection here is very low.
“The chances of seeing anything like the calamity in western Africa is profoundly remote,” said Dr. Irwin Redlener, the director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University and a special adviser to Mayor Bill de Blasio.