Ebola 2014: Setting up a port health screening programme at an international train station

Vivien Cleary, Edward Wynne-Evans, James Freed, Katie Fleet, Simone Thorn, Deborah Turbitt

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    An outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) began in Guinea in December 2013 and was declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern by the World Health Organization in August 2014. In October, the UK government tasked Public Health England (PHE) to set up EVD screening at key ports. The key aim of port-of-entry screening was to identify passengers coming from areas with high risk of EVD, and give them advice to raise their awareness of symptoms and what actions to take. Direct flights from Sierra Leone, Guinea or Liberia had all been cancelled, so intelligence on passenger numbers and routes was used to identify the most commonly used routes from the affected countries into the UK. One of these was St Pancras International train station. Screening had never previously been implemented at a UK train station so had to be set up from scratch. Key to the success of this was excellent multi-agency working between PHE, the UK Border Force, Eurostar, Network Rail and the Cabinet Office. This paper gives an overview of the activation of EVD screening at St Pancras International and the subsequent decommissioning.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)177-187
    Number of pages11
    JournalJournal of business continuity & emergency planning
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017


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