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Ebola fear leads to airline strike

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Posted at 3:52 PM, Oct 09, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-09 18:51:15-04

Airline workers at LaGuardia Airport in New York City went on strike Thursday, citing fear of exposure to Ebola.

The 200 employees are airline cabin cleaners who work for Air Serv, according to the Associated Press. The workers said that they lack the proper protective equipment to deal with infected bodily fluids.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the airport, said in a statement that it would review the safety concerns of the cabin cleaners.

Ebola is spread through infected bodily fluids such as blood, sweat and vomit. Nearly 4,000 people have died from Ebola in West Africa in the worst outbreak in history.

Five U.S. airports – not including La Guardia – are designated by the CDC to screen for Ebola patients:

  • John F. Kennedy International Airport (New York, N.Y.)
  • Newark Liberty International Airport (Newark, N.J.)
  • Chicago O'Hare International Airport (Chicago, Ill.)
  • Washington Dulles International Airport (Washington, DC)
  • Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport (Atlanta, Ga.)

 

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is checking passengers from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone at those airports.

The screening policy began after a Liberian man became ill with Ebola days after he entered the U.S. He died Wednesday at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas.

Gavin Stern is a national digital producer for the Scripps National Desk. Follow him on twitter at @GavinStern or email him at gavin.stern@scripps.com