Last night news reports confirmed an Ebola case in New York. A young emergency medicine doctor working with Doctors Without Borders, Craig Spencer, contracted the virus in Guinea and traveled to New York (JFK) on October 17. Although he traveled by air from Brussels, he did not exhibit symptoms until 5 days after returning to the United States – beginning Thursday morning, October 23. He was rushed to Bellevue Hospital from his apartment in Manhattan after reporting stomach pains and a fever. His apartment, two close friends and his fiancé have all been placed in quarantine. A new round of media attention and public concern is raging. It appears that the response in NY is more controlled - some lessons learned from Dallas.
We continue to regularly communicate with OSHA, CDC and FAA to address our concerns and improve communicable disease prevention and response. We are also pushing the White House to direct our airlines to follow protective policies, regulations and work with unions who are on the frontlines of these incidents. This is the first pandemic affecting our jobs where we have access to OSHA oversight. Our persistent work to gain OSHA protection is making a big difference in the tools we have to address our concerns and ensure the health and safety of Flight Attendants.
In addition, AFA has led the effort to coordinate our aviation union response through the Transportation Trades Department (TTD), AFL-CIO – specifically with key transportation unions: AFA, ALPA, IAM, TWU and AFGE. TTD President Ed Wytkind and TTD staff have been working very closely with AFA and helped to provide a unified voice of labor to the White House. The AFA Ebola/Communicable Disease Response checklist, unanimously endorsed by the AFA Executive Board, has provided the basis for labor’s response. See the press release below.
Review our Ebola Resource page for helpful guidance for Flight Attendants: www.afacwa.org/ebola