Anchorage airport gets quarantine station

Posted: Tuesday, June 07, 2005

ANCHORAGE - A quarantine station at Anchorage's international airport will open in July to screen travelers for infectious diseases.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Anchorage was chosen because of the large number of international flights landing at the airport - about 30 passenger and 500 cargo flights a week.

Anchorage's airport used to house a station that closed about two decades ago, said Linda Close, marketing director for Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport.

Anchorage's new facility will boost the CDC's presence on the West Coast, said Ram Koppaka, acting chief of the CDC's Quarantine and Border Health Services branch. Stations exist or will open in Honolulu, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego, he said.

Eight CDC quarantine stations currently operate nationwide, and federal money will increase that to 18 before the end of September. The goal is 25 sites by 2006, said Marty Remis, deputy branch chief with the CDC's Quarantine and Border Health Services branch.

Federal law requires airlines to report passengers who become ill or die on an international flight, Remis said.

The Atlanta-based CDC has authority to prevent travelers from bringing and spreading infectious diseases in the United States.

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