The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is predicting that U.S. airports will screen about 150 travelers from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone for Ebola per day, and about 55,000 per year.
The CDC has included those estimates in an analysis for a new Ebola risk screening information collection program.
The CDC — an arm of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) — has told the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to have the U.S. Customers and Border Protection (CBP) workers stationed in airports to put arriving passengers from the countries most affected by Ebola through an extra layer of screening.
CBP workers are now supposed to use non-contact thermometers to check the temperature of travelers who have been in an Ebola outbreak country in the past 21 days. The workers are also supposed to see if the travelers show any obvious signs of illness and have those travelers fill out health declaration forms.
The CBP workers must store the forms and tear sheets in PDF files on a flash drive, then feed the data in each flash drive into a DHS server. The DHS will transfer batches of Ebola PDF forms to CDC computers through secure file transfer protocol transmissions.
If a CBP worker believes a traveler warrants extra attention, the worker will print the health declaration form and hand the printed form to a CDC staff member, officials say in a description of the information collection process. A CDC staff member will then decide if a traveler needs further medical evaluation.