BOSTON – The federal government will install a new quarantine station at Logan International Airport to evaluate travelers who may pose a health threat to the region, officials said.
The quarantine area should be in place at Terminal E, which handles international arrivals, by the end of the year. It will have a five-person staff from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who will also train airport and airline personnel on how to detect the symptoms of threatening health conditions.
The facility is patterned after one at John F. Kennedy International Airport, in New York, and is part of the federal government's effort to triple the number of quarantine stations around the country, Phil Orlandella, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Port Authority, which operates Logan, said Wednesday.
He said the airport already has polices for managing suspected cases of infectious diseases and that airport can isolate an entire airplane if necessary.
CDC officials said the quarantine station will not impact most travelers arriving from abroad, since only a small percentage will be pulled aside for evaluation.
"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," Maria Pia Sanchez, officer in charge for the CDC at Logan, said in an e-mail to The Boston Globe.
"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. "A case of TB can be imported from just about any country."