NEW YORK - Health officials at U.S. airports are keeping an eye out for people who could be infected with Ebola.
There are quarantine checkpoints set up at 20 airports, including John F. Kennedy International Airport. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say the checkpoints will be staffed with health officials specifically trained to spot the warning signs of Ebola. Those symptoms include fever, headache, joint and muscle aches, weakness, diarrhea and vomiting.
Dr. Bruce Hirsch, attending physician in infectious disease at North Shore LIJ, says travelers should not panic about Ebola. Hirsch says it is not easy to catch the virus, even if on a flight with someone who is infected.
“If you're on an airplane and someone is sick with Ebola, you don't get it through the air, you get it by direct contact with body fluids - with blood, with diarrhea fluid, with vomit … and simply keeping one's distance from a person who is sick under those circumstances or wearing protective gear for any contact is sufficient to decrease your risk of getting this terrible infection,” says Hirsch.
Travelers at JFK who spoke to News 12 Long Island said they were not worried about Ebola.
Health officials have warned Americans not to travel to the three West African countries hardest hit by the outbreak - Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.