BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It’s the deadliest Ebola outbreak in history, killing more than 3,400 people in West Africa. Now President Barack Obama is trying to reassure Americans steps are being taken to prevent any spread here. This as an Ebola scare affects some passengers at BWI.
Meghan McCorkell has the latest on the fight against the deadly illness.
The president is calling for additional screenings for incoming passengers at US airports amidst the Ebola outbreak in Africa.
The fifth American to contract Ebola is now in an isolation unit at a Nebraska hospital. Thirty-three-year-old Ashoka Mukpo was working as a freelance news photographer in Liberia when he caught the deadly virus.
“Of course, it’s still quite frightening. But he’s hanging in and he’s really strong,” said Diana Mukpo, the patient’s mother.
With the rapid spread of the illness in West Africa, President Obama says steps are being taken to prevent Ebola-stricken patients from entering the US.
“We’re also going to be working on protocols to do additional passenger screening, both at the source and here in the United States,” President Obama said.
Some of those protocols are already in effect.
WJZ has obtained a picture of emergency crews outside Southwest Airlines flight 718 in Orlando, bound for BWI.
“We saw all the ambulances and the police cars,” one witness said.
Flight crews called the CDC after a passenger, who recently traveled to West Africa, became ill.
“They took a man off the plane and took him down to the tarmac and did all kinds of taking his temperature and checking him for everything,” said passenger Jay Wiedel.
“Apparently he got sick on the plane and that caused a whole lot of craziness from the passengers,” said passenger Kathy Linton.
Medical crews determined the man did not have any communicable diseases.
Officials at the Orlando Airport say the passenger was isolated out of an abundance of caution and posed no health risks to other passengers. The man was cleared to board the flight, which landed Monday here in Baltimore.
Obama maintains the chance of an Ebola outbreak here in the United States remains extraordinarily low.
Officials say a Liberian man who’s being treated for Ebola in a Dallas hospital has slipped into critical condition. He’s now being given an experimental drug.
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