Liberians Held As Ebola Suspects At J.F. Kennedy Airport In U.S – From James Momoh/New York

Despite recent pronouncement by the World Health Organization (WH) declaring Liberia Ebola free, the stigma of the disease continues to hunt Liberians entering the United States.

According to our US Correspondent, once you have arrived in the United States from Liberia, you become a suspect and subjected to a vigorous Ebola screening exercise by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in order defuse the possibility of Liberians entering the United States are free of the deadly Ebola virus.  

Our Correspondent said it was the scene at JFK international airport in New York on Thursday, when a group of Liberians disembark from flight number 655 belonging to Air morocco a frequent flyer from Monrovia, Casablanca and New York.  

He said after the regular immigration processing you are escorted by an immigration officer followed by the seizure of your passport to a room prepared only for people from Ebola affected countries.

He further narrated that the screening exercise which is conducted by ‘ Care Ambassadors’ health experts from the center for disease control and united states immigration personals, will provide you questioners about your activities in Liberia or if you ever came in contact with someone or a family that have died or ever had the symptoms of the Ebola virus.

The process which is time consuming requires you to answer all questions about your activities in Liberia before you are called for your temperature to be taken. Any temperature that exceeds 100 degrees, you are suspected of developing symptoms that are similar to the Ebola virus and will immediately be evacuated to medical centers for further evaluation.

If your temperature falls in the normal range you are provided counseling on the symptoms of the virus and a thermometer to closely monitor your temperature levels but warned to contact local health care providers if symptoms developed.

Since the outbreak of the disease in Liberia, it is estimated that over two thousands persons have died from the disease while survivors are currently receiving trial drugs for the treatment of the disease.

Commenting on the exercise, a health care provider from the center for disease control told our reporter that the exercise is a normal protocol for people entering the United States from Ebola infected countries and Liberia seems to one of the countries that suffered from the magnitude of the disease outbreak.  

Speaking further the health worker said that the screening is to ensure that Americans and other nationals that have not travel to the Ebola affected countries are protected from contracting the disease from individuals that might enter the united states without any prior knowledge of getting infected with the virus.

 It can be recalled that Thomas Duncan was a Liberian that contracted the virus in Liberia but entered the United States and his death in a Texas hospital further alerted health care personals in the united states to provide health assessment to everyone entering the united states from Ebola infected countries .

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