WH: Ebola screening will reach 94 percent arriving in US from West Africa

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Wednesday that increased screening for Ebola at five major U.S. airports will capture 94 percent of passengers who are arriving from African nations that are battling the virus.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said Wednesday that it would require passengers who travel from nations struck by Ebola to airports in Washington, New York, New Jersey, Chicago and Atlanta to have their temperatures checked and fill out a health questionnaire.

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Earnest said Wednesday the five airports that have been identified for additional screening "are the destination of 94 percent of individuals who travel to the United States from the three countries that are currently affected by Ebola right now.

"So the vast majority of passengers from those countries ... would be subject to this additional layer of screening," Earnest continued.

The international airports identified for additional screenings are Washington Dulles, John F. Kennedy, Newark Liberty, O’Hare and Hartsfield-Jackson.

The Ebola checks are part of an effort by the Obama administration to calm fears about the potential spread of the disease among airline passengers following the first domestic diagnosis of the disease.
 
The first man diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S., Thomas Eric Duncan, died on Wednesday from complications.

Some lawmakers have been pushing for a ban on commercial airline flights between the U.S. and Ebola-stricken nations following Duncan's diagnosis, but Obama administration officials have rejected the requests because they say it would be counterproductive to stopping the spread of the disease.