LAX Officials Considering Reinstating Quarantine Stations To Help Prevent Spread of Avian Flu
Los Angeles International Airport officials are considering reinstating quarantine stations -- which were found at every international port of entry into the U.S. until the 1960s, when vaccination became more prevalent -- to prevent the spread of avian flu if a passenger on a plane is infected with the disease, NPR's "Morning Edition" reports (Schmitz, "Morning Edition," NPR, 10/25).
LAX receives 26 flights daily from Asia -- more than twice as many as any other U.S. airport -- with as many as 10,000 passengers on those planes (California Healthline, 10/19).
According to Robert Kim-Farley, director of public health programs and laboratories at the Acute Communicable Disease Control unit of the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, the likelihood of detecting airline passengers at a stage when they pose the greatest risk to others is "slim." Instead, Kim-Farley said that it is more likely that a passenger would complete the incubation period for avian flu and exhibit symptoms after they have left a plane, passed through customs or exited the airport.
The NPR segment also includes comments from LAX spokesperson Nancy Castles("Morning Edition," NPR, 10/25). The complete segment is available online in RealPlayer.
KPCC's "KPCC News" on Friday also reported on LAX officials' plans. The segment includes comments from Castles, Kim-Farley and a passenger who arrived in LAX from India (Schmitz, "KPCC News," KPCC, 10/21). The complete segment is available online in RealPlayer.