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Concerned, US Airlines Contact Government About Ebola

  • Reuters

FILE - An airport worker fuels a JetBlue plane on the tarmac of the John F. Kennedy International Airport.

FILE - An airport worker fuels a JetBlue plane on the tarmac of the John F. Kennedy International Airport.

U.S. airlines and their trade group Airlines for America are in close contact with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on actions the U.S. government is taking to address Ebola health concerns, according to a spokesperson for JetBlue.

The statement comes a day after the first case of the deadly virus was diagnosed in Dallas, Texas, prompting concerns that others may have been exposed to Ebola before the victim sought hospital treatment. According to U.S. health officials, the man sought treatment six days after arriving in Texas on Sept. 20.

The first patient diagnosed in the U.S. with an Ebola infection traveled from Liberia to Texas via Brussels, Canadian chief public health officer Greg Taylor said on Wednesday.

The stocks of several U.S. airlines fell in morning trading Wednesday amid investors' concern that fewer people will travel because of the virus.

JetBlue shares fell about 2.7 percent to trade at $10.33 Wednesday, while American Airlines and Delta Air Lines each fell about 3.1 percent.

The JetBlue spokesperson added that airlines and airports remind their customers to follow CDC guidelines regarding travel when ill.

Meanwhile, Canada has shipped small amounts of its experimental vaccine for the Ebola virus to hospitals in Geneva and Atlanta, Georgia for possible use by exposed health care workers, Canadian chief public health officer Greg Taylor said on Wednesday.

Taylor said Canada "pre-shipped'' some vaccine to Geneva some time ago, but that its donation to the World Health Organization of 800 to 1,000 doses remains in a Canadian government lab. Canada also shipped some vaccine to Atlanta's Emory University Hospital and is considering shipping some of the vaccine to Canadian hospitals as a precaution as well.

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