U.S. airlines in contact with government about Ebola concerns

U.S. airlines in contact with government about Ebola concerns. http://tiny.iavian.net/2z65


U.S. airlines in contact with government about Ebola concerns

Thomas Eric Duncan flew from Liberia to Brussels, then boarded United Airlines Flight 951 to Washington Dulles International AirportFrom Dulles, he flew on United Flight 822 to Dallas/Fort WorthU.S. officials had refused to release Duncan’s flight details, but United Airlines chose to make his itinerary public  Health officials claim there is no risk to Duncan’s fellow passengers 

United Airlines is scrambling to alert the hundreds of passengers who were on two flights with a Liberian national who carried Ebola into the United States. 

Thomas Eric Duncan arrived in the U.S. at Washington Dulles International Airport on United Flight 951 on September 20, the airline revealed today. 

He then boarded United Flight 822 to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. 

U.S. officials had previously refused to release details of his itinerary, claiming none of his fellow passengers were at risk because he was not showing symptoms at that time. 

United Airlines released the details of Duncan’s journey on Wednesday night. He left September 19 from Monrovia, Liberia, and flew to Brussels. From Brussels, he caught a United Airlines flight to the U.S. 

Airlines for America, the industry trade group, on Wednesday U.S. airlines are in regular contact with the Centers for Disease Control and other government agencies about helping to prevent the spread of Ebola.

‘A4A members that fly to affected countries remain in steady contact with government agencies and health officials, and have procedures in place to monitor and quickly respond to potential health concerns,’ spokeswoman Victoria Day said.

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Thomas Eric Duncan flew from Liberia to Brussels and then into Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport – with a connection in between

Unfriendly skies: Thomas Eric Duncan was able to board a plane to the U.S. and land in Dallas after having come in close contact with at least one person who died of Ebola

U.S. health officials claim there should be no risk to fellow passengers because Duncan wasn’t showing symptoms until after he arrived in Dallas.

Ebola is not airborne and can only be contracted by people who have contact with the bodily fluids of infected patients. 

Duncan could have flown through London-Heathrow, the busiest international airport in the world, to arrive in Dallas – or one of several other major European cities, including Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Paris or Madrid.

It’s also possible that the patient entered the U.S. at another major U.S. hub. Chicago’s O’Hare, New York’s JFK and Newark, Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson, Washington’s Dulles, Philadelphia and Miami international airports all operate flights from Belgium and also fly to Dallas. 

Stocks in major U.S. air carriers fell as much as nearly 4 percent on Wednesday over fears that the spread of the worst known Ebola outbreak beyond West Africa would make more customers fearful of traveling.

‘People are nervous about (the first case of Ebola detected in the United States) and what it means,’ said Michael Derchin, an analyst at CRT Capital Group LLC.

Still, Derchin said that the market had overreacted.

‘I would be surprised if there’s any impact on travel,’ he said.

JetBlue Airways and American Airlines said they were closely following guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Airlines for America, the industry trade group, is also coordinating with the CDC on any government action related to Ebola concerns, JetBlue spokesman Morgan Johnston said.

‘We follow the guidelines (put) in place by the CDC specifically for airlines, and we work with our crews to protect the health of our customers and employees,’ American Airlines spokesman Josh Freed said.

The CDC is working with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to identify potential victims and warn other travelers of the health threat.

‘CBP personnel receive training in illness recognition,’ said agency spokeswoman Jennifer Evanitsky. If they identify someone believed to be infected, they will seek medical evaluation from CDC and local health officials.

Customs officials will wear protective equipment such as gloves and surgical masks to ensure their safety when interacting with ill travelers, she added.

Customs and Border personnel also will hand out flyers in airports encouraging people to watch their health for 21 days and listing steps to follow should they become sick, according to CDC spokesman Tom Skinner.

Airlines will also remind their customers to follow CDC guidelines regarding travel when ill, Johnston said.

JetBlue shares fell 3.4 percent to $10.26, while American Airlines fell about 3.9 percent and Delta Air Lines fell about 3.7 percent in early Wednesday afternoon trading.

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