Following on from the first US Ebola casualty, the US Coast Guard has stepped up enforcement at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to prevent the Ebola virus from making entry into Southern California.
The new effort was announced in the backdrop of plans by federal officials to begin taking the temperatures of travellers from West Africa arriving at five US airports as part of a nationwide response to the Ebola epidemic.
According to Port of Los Angeles spokeswoman Rachel Campbell, if an illness is reported, the centres for disease control (CDC) are immediately notified and vessels may be quarantined from entering the port complex until cleared by officials.
Campbell said in a statement: “We are currently unaware of any immediate health or safety threats with respect to vessels entering the San Pedro Bay complex. There are measures in place to ensure the safe and secure arrival of vessels, passengers and crew to the port.”
Additionally, Coast Guard petty officer Adam Eggers said if any type of illness was reported during a ship-to-shore conversion, US Department of Homeland Security and CDC security personnel would be waiting at the port.
Ebola has currently taken more than 2,000 lives, with Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone having the highest number of casualties.