Quarantine station to open at Logan / US acts amid growing

Monty Solomon monty at roscom.com
Tue Nov 8 08:49:49 PST 2005

threat of bioterrorism and infectious diseases

Quarantine station to open at Logan
US acts amid growing threat of bioterrorism and infectious diseases

By Bruce Mohl, Globe Staff  |  November 3, 2005

With the threat of bioterrorism and infectious diseases growing, the
federal government by the end of this year plans to open a quarantine
station at Boston's Logan International Airport where officials can
evaluate the health threats posed by incoming travelers.

The Massachusetts Port Authority, which operates Logan, is building
an office suite and an isolation room where a five-person staff from
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention can evaluate travelers
and train airport and airline personnel on how to detect symptoms
consistent with infectious diseases. The CDC office will be located
in the international Terminal E.

''We are most interested in people with fever accompanied by rash,
stiff neck, jaundice, cough, or unusual bleeding and severe diarrhea
with or without fever," said Maria Pia Sanchez, officer in charge for
the CDC at Logan. She is currently working out of her home.

Sanchez said she and her staff, including one medical director, will
monitor all international arrivals at Logan. ''While avian flu is
what is on most people's mind right now, the most common
quarantinable disease we pick up through our quarantine stations is
tuberculosis," Sanchez said in an e-mail. ''A case of TB can be
imported from just about any country."

CDC officials say a quarantine station will not have a major impact
on most travelers arriving from abroad at Logan, since a tiny
percentage are actually pulled aside for evaluation.

But if avian flu were to mutate into a fast-spreading deadly human
virus or a bioterrorism attack occurred, quarantine stations like the
one in Boston would probably play a much more aggressive role,
serving as the nation's first line of defense in containing the



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