A Beaumont company is one of only two American businesses that can sell infrared cameras overseas to fight against the deadly Ebola disease, they could have screened Thomas Duncan before he left Liberia.
The FDA has approved Infrared Cameras Inc., a Beaumont-based company, to sell its devices overseas.
Many of them were shipped to west Africa to fight against Ebola.
Liberian airport authorities say Thomas Eric Duncan was screened three times with different medical devices before leaving Roberts International Airport in Liberia.
These infrared cameras scan passengers for fever – a primary symptom of Ebola.
"Infrared cameras are used to stop the spread of Ebola by measuring temperature," said company founder Gary Strahan.
Strahan sells the cameras worldwide, including west Africa, to screen people in airports.
He planned on traveling to western Africa to install the cameras, but because of the Ebola outbreak, he stayed here.
"We really just needed to have our cameras shipped over to Africa and install them in the airports," said Strahan.
The cameras only scan for fever, not Ebola itself.
"Infrared cameras don't detect Ebola virus," said Strahan. "Infrared cameras see emitted light from your body – if you're running a fever, they will flag."
Wearing glasses keeps the camera from scanning tear ducts, the hottest spot on the body.
Wearing hats isn't allowed either because they retain heat.
These cameras are only used internationally – something Strahan hopes will change, given the increasing number of infectious viruses.
"I think it's important to have cameras at airports in the United States," said Gary Strahan.
Strahan said he expects new cameras to arrive in Nigeria soon.