EBOLA: How safe are NC’s ports?

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — This week federal officials began screening passengers at five major airports for the Ebola virus.

But this disease doesn’t discriminate on mode of transportation.

The U.S. Coast Guard is revving up their efforts to protect against the virus on the water. They already have a system in place known as the “advanced notice to arrival.”

All commercial vessels inbound are required to pass on their vessel and voyage details, including information about the cargo and the crew.

Now, they are also looking at the last five ports of call, taking an especially close look at any vessels that may have stopped in West African countries.

Coast Guard Lieutenant Krystyn Pecora says the hope is to screen the vessel before it ever gets near the U.S.

“If we find that someone has symptoms, we’re gonna take everything on a case-by-case basis,” said Pecora. “We have the ability and the authority to keep a vessel offshore in case we do have concerns about a vessel.”

The coast guard has already been working with the CDC on several different scenarios and how they’d approach them in a maritime environment.

They have not boarded any ships in relation to an Ebola risk as of yet.

Categories: New Hanover

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