Heathrow to being Ebola screening
Heathrow is set to being enhanced screening for Ebola virus among passengers travelling from affected countriesLuke MacGregor/Reuters

Heathrow airport is to start advanced Ebola screening for passengers who travel from vulnerable countries.

Passengers' temperature will be checked and they will be asked to fill up a questionnaire during the screening at Terminal One, which will eventually be extended to other terminals.

Gatwick airport and Eurostar rail terminals will also start screening by the end of this week.

The contact numbers of the passengers will be recorded and anyone with symptoms of the virus infection will be taken to hospital,

The latest measure is to prevent any outbreak in the UK which has so far killed 4,000 people in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

Nearly 1,000 passengers travel from these three countries to the UK a month, and the vast majority of them arrive at Heathrow.

"We would like to reassure passengers that the government assesses the risk of a traveller contracting Ebola to be low," a Heathrow spokesperson has been quoted as saying by BBC.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has earlier said it is likely that people with the Ebola virus would be diagnosed in the UK before Christmas, but insisted the number of such cases is not expected to exceed 10.

Hunt, in a statement to Commons, said: "Whilst there are no direct flights from the affected region, there are indirect routes into the UK. In the next week, Public Health England will start screening and monitoring UK bound air passengers identified by the Border Force coming on to the main routes from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea."

"This will allow potential Ebola virus carriers arriving in the UK to be identified, tracked and given rapid access to expert health advice should they develop symptoms."

Those who are found positive for Ebola will be immediately shifted to the Royal Free Hospital in north London while the hospitals in Newcastle, Liverpool and Sheffield would also be on standby in case of any emergency.