Calls for Ebola airports screening

10 October 2014 11:39

A medical exercise takes place at the Army Medical Services Training Centre near York as ministers are coming under pressure to test travellers for Ebola

A medical exercise takes place at the Army Medical Services Training Centre near York as ministers are coming under pressure to test travellers for Ebola

There is growing clamour for screening at UK airports following warnings that Ebola could spread to Britain.

MP Keith Vaz is leading calls to test for the killer virus at transport hubs throughout the UK amid warnings from Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt that the prospect of Ebola entering the country is "entirely possible".

Elsewhere, screening is being introduced at some US airports following the death of a man diagnosed with the virus in Dallas, Texas.

Mr Vaz, chairman of the House of Commons' Home Affairs Select Committee, is calling for the UK to follow suit as well as insisting that more support is needed to ensure immigration officers are properly equipped to help contain the outbreak.

Travellers are reminded of the importance of arranging travel insurance, or medical travel insurance if they have an existing condition, before flying overseas.

Mr Hunt says that while it is possible that someone infected with the virus could arrive in the UK, the country is fully prepared to deal with this.

He adds that the health service in Britain has an excellent track record in handling outbreaks and treating people with Ebola and says paramedics are kitted out with protective suits.

Ebola - key facts

:: The virus is not airborne and can only be spread by human contact

:: The fatality rate of current outbreak is around 50%

:: Scientists are working on two potential vaccines but nothing has been licensed so far

The outbreak was declared by the World Health Organisation as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on August 8.

 

 

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