By Jessica Plautz,
PRESIDENT Obama announced Friday that African leaders attending a summit in Washington, D.C., next week will be screened for Ebola.
At least 729 people have died and more than 1,300 people have fallen ill from the viral disease in the worst outbreak ever, primarily affecting Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.
“We’re making sure we’re doing screening as [they leave from their home airports] and some additional screening here,” Obama said. Attendees who had “even a marginal risk … of having been exposed” to Ebola could be screened after arriving in the U.S, he added.
The Ebola outbreak is keeping leaders from Liberia and Sierra Leone from attending.
“If all of the infectious individuals come from the same geographic region, passenger screening and quarantine procedures are usually the first measures implemented to prevent against the spread of infectious diseases,” said Nicholas Yager, a biochemist who has studied disease propagation through airport networks.