'Dr. Gavin MacGregor-Skinner, a specialist in treating Ebola, sounded the alarm today on CNN about how ill-prepared U.S. customs is when dealing with visitors from Ebola-stricken areas.
MacGregor-Skinner, an Assistant Professor, Department of Public Health Sciences at Penn State University, International Development Consultant, told Jake Tapper about how dangerous Ebola is.
"When my team was in Nigeria and we were treating Ebola patients the first thing they said to me was 'Should we tell the truth?' 'Yeah when you come back we're telling the truth.'
As we flew out of Nigeria I had my temperature taken and I was interviewed twice. As I came through Germany I had my temperature taken I was interviewed and questions were asked 'Where have you been? What have you done?'
When I got back to Washington D.C. I said 'I've been working with Ebola patients." I was told 'Welcome back. Off you go!' No one took my temperature. No one asked me any questions. So we told the truth. There was no process, there was no program here to make sure we were OK."'
But the system has its limits, relying on the traveler to reveal whether he or she has been exposed. And it leaves it to local officials to conduct the screening as they see fit, Dr. Cohen said. It is unclear how consistently or effectively those screenings are conducted across West Africa, and Dr. Cohen said she did not know how many potential travelers had been caught by screeners — if any.
"Our expectation is that people who are sick or people who are exposed should be getting the message they shouldn't be traveling."'