Ben-Gurion Airport holds Ebola-screening drill for Israel arrivals

Exercise comes as Israel steps up measure to prevent possible spread of deadly strain by tourists from Ebola-affected areas.

October 17, 2014 13:14
1 minute read.

Ebola screening drill held at Ben-Gurion Airport, October 17, 2014.. (photo credit: KOBI GIDEON/GPO)

Israel conducted an exercise on Friday morning at Ben-Gurion Airport to practice identifying travelers arriving from countries at-risk with the Ebola virus.

The drill encompassed an entire simulated screening process, from questioning visitor coming off the plane, to evacuation and hospital treatment.

According to Health Ministry guidelines, authorities are instructed to evacuate to isolated hospital treatment travelers who have in the past three weeks visited a country where the strain is prevalent and have a fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius).

Israel will specifically begin monitoring travelers arriving at the airport from Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone

The drill took place following talks held by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in recent week to discuss the spread of the virus.

“Israel is prepared to stop, as much as is possible, the entry of Ebola patients into our borders, as part of our general efforts to defend our borders from illegal infiltrators and terror,” Netanyahu said during the meeting.

Ebola is spread through direct contact with bodily fluids such as blood, vomit, urine, and stools of an infected person, but not by coughing, sneezing or eating food touched by someone who is infected.

The disease has killed more than 4,000 people, mostly in Western Africa, and that has infected a handful in the West, including the US and Spain.

Judy Siegel-Itzkovich and Herb Keinon contributed to this report.

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