England

Ebola screening begins at Manchester and Birmingham airports

Birmingham and Manchester airport entrance Image copyright Getty Images/pa
Image caption Birmingham and Manchester airports are screening passengers arriving from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea

Passenger screening for Ebola has begun at Manchester and Birmingham airports for those travelling from high-risk countries.

Public Health England said airport staff will be checking people arriving from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

Ebola screening was introduced at Heathrow Airport last month before being extended to Gatwick and Eurostar.

More than 1,500 people have died from the virus in Sierra Leone, with about 5,000 deaths in total in West Africa.

'Passenger impact minimised'

Ebola is spread by direct contact with contaminated body fluids. Blood, vomit and saliva can all carry and spread the deadly virus.

In September, about 1,000 people arrived in the UK from Ebola-affected countries in West Africa.


How does screening work?

Image copyright PA
  • Taking temperatures to check for fever
  • Ask questions to assess risk
  • Advice for travellers on who to call and what to do if unwell at later stage

Ebola airport screening: Will it work?


A Public Health England spokeswoman said: "It is being undertaken to help ensure individuals arriving from high-risk areas know what to do if they start feeling ill, and can receive expert advice immediately."

Manchester Airport confirmed screening started on Monday and Birmingham Airport said the screening programme began on Friday.

Andrew Cowan, chief operating officer at Manchester Airports Group, said: "We are working closely with all our partners, particularly Public Health England, who are managing the screening programme to ensure the impact on our passengers is minimised as they travel through the airport."

Public Health England initially ruled out screening because the risk of Ebola arriving in the UK was low and would mean screening "huge numbers of low-risk people".

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