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DHS: Travelers From West Africa Limited To 5 U.S. Airports

Thomas Nellon (left), 17, and his brother Johnson Nellon, 14, of Liberia smile at their mother in the arrivals area at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York earlier this month. The brothers received a health screening upon arrival. The U.S. says it will step up screening measures for arrivals from Ebola-affected West African countries.
Craig Ruttle
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Updated at 1:00 p.m. ET

The Department of Homeland Security has announced that all passengers arriving from Ebola-affected countries in West Africa must go by way of a handful of U.S. airports as part of measures to control the spread of Ebola.

"Today, I am announcing that all passengers arriving in the United States whose travel originates in Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea will be required to fly into one of the five airports that have the enhanced screening and additional resources in place," Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson said in a statement.

Starting on Wednesday, those passengers will then be subject to "secondary screening and added protocols, including having their temperature taken, before they can be admitted into the United States," the statement said.

The airports are: New York's JFK; Newark, N.J.; Washington, D.C.'s Dulles; Atlanta; and Chicago O'Hare.

"We are working closely with the airlines to implement these restrictions with minimal travel disruption," Johnson said on Tuesday. "If not already handled by the airlines, the few impacted travelers should contact the airlines for rebooking, as needed."

Meanwhile, a nurse in Madrid who contracted the Ebola virus while treating a Catholic missionary returning from West Africa is free of the virus, a second blood test has confirmed, according to Spanish health officials.

Teresa Romero, 44, who was diagnosed with Ebola two weeks ago, became the first person diagnosed outside West Africa during the current Ebola outbreak, the largest since the virus was discovered in 1976.

"We consider her cured of the Ebola virus by World Health Organization criteria," said Jose Ramon Arribas, doctor at the Carlos III Hospital in Madrid where the nurse is being treated, according to Reuters.

The mother of Amber Vinson, a U.S. nurse who became infected while treating Thomas Eric Duncan, the first case of Ebola diagnosed in the United States, says her daughter is doing well.

Deborah Berry tells ABC's Good Morning America that the family is "very confident" that Vinson is receiving good care at Emory [hospital in Atlanta] and is relieved that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued stricter safety protocols for health care workers treating Ebola after Vinson and another nurse, Nina Pham, became infected.

Another Ebola patient evacuated from West Africa who was being treated at Emory has been released after being confirmed as free of the virus, hospital officials say. The man, who wishes to remain anonymous, was transported to the hospital in Atlanta on Sept. 9.

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Scott Neuman is a reporter and editor, working mainly on breaking news for NPR's digital and radio platforms.