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Obama Considers Tighter Ebola Screening for Travelers

And calls on other nations to do more to help control the deadly epidemic

TUESDAY, Oct. 7, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- President Barack Obama said Monday that his administration is preparing additional screening measures to prevent the Ebola epidemic in West Africa from gaining a foothold in the United States.

Obama, after meeting with his top security and health advisers, did not specify what those measures might be. But senior federal health officials said the steps could include "entry screening," which is screening travelers arriving in the United States from West African nations battling the Ebola outbreak, Fox News reported.

Anthony Fauci, M.D., director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, noted that current screening measures primarily consist of checking passengers for fever as they leave the affected African nations. Fauci said the president and his staff are now considering screening measures at U.S. airports, Fox News said. "That's certainly open for discussion," he said.

Obama also urged other countries to do more to help contain the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, calling it a matter of global security, USA Today reported. "We have not seen other countries step up as aggressively as we need them to," Obama said. Underscoring the sense of concern was the revelation Monday that a nurse in Spain has become the first person known to catch Ebola outside of West Africa. She was part of a medical team that treated a 69-year-old Spanish priest who died in a Spanish hospital last month after being flown back from Sierra Leone, the Associated Press reported.

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