WH: States to Decide What to Do If West African Travelers Don’t Self-Report Ebola Symptoms

Individuals from West African nations who travel to airports in six U.S. states will be tracked for 21 days for signs of Ebola, but it will be up to individual states to decide what to do if these travelers fail to self-report, the White House said Wednesday.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest called it “an additional layer that will be based upon an effort to share information with state and local health authorities so they can put in place the measures that they believe would be most effective in protecting the populations of their states.”

Screening has already begun at New York’s JFK International Airport, Washington Dulles, and airports in Atlanta, Chicago, and Newark, N.J., to catch any travelers from West African nations who may have Ebola when they arrive in the U.S.

Earnest said “screening protocols” already in place have prevented “dozens of individuals” from boarding airplanes.

“And because of our knowledge of their travel history, we can ensure that the screening measures that are in place in West Africa can ensure that those individuals are not exhibiting symptoms of Ebola. There are dozens of individuals, who based on those screening protocols that are already in place, have been denied boarding,” Earnest said.