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Canadian border guards screening for Ebola virus at land crossings

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – You may have noticed coming back from a shopping trip over the line a few new questions from Canada Border Services Agency border guards. Along with getting asked the usual where you went and what you have to declare, border guards at Canadian land crossings like Peace Arch and Pac-Highway are also asking you if you’re coming back from West Africa or if you’ve had any contact with anyone from that part of the world.

Dr. John Millar with the Public Health Association of BC thinks it’s a good idea to verbally screen for the Ebola virus as he says it doesn’t take a lot of time or cost anything.
“If you’re going to be screening for people coming into the airport it’s a reasonable precaution to be extending that to land based travel so it seems to be to be a reasonable precaution.”

He says border guards should be checking everyone.
“When you’re coming across the border at Blaine for example, the border guards don’t know if you’ve been across shopping or you’ve come in from West Africa, so they can’t discriminate that until they ask.”

When it comes to beefing up screening, he says infra-red cameras and thermometers used in other countries to screen for Ebola aren’t necessary here.