758 13-10-2013 Domestic and International flights were delayed following an attempted theft cable theft OR Tambo International Airport. Picture: Tiro Ramatlhatse

Johannesburg - Gauteng airports are being monitored around the clock to help prevent infectious diseases being imported into the country, the Gauteng health department said on Thursday.

MEC Hope Papo said clinics had been established at OR Tambo International and Lanseria airports to prevent major viral diseases, such as viral haemorrhagic fever and avian flu, entering the province.

Two doctors, 14 professional nurses and three administration staff were employed to screen international arrivals, without disrupting trade or travel into the country.

Infra-red thermal scanners were installed at the airports to identify travellers with raised body temperatures.

“Raised body temperatures are highly indicative of infectious conditions. Passengers who are detected to have raised body temperatures are further assessed by clinic staff to rule out an infectious condition,” Papo said.

Arriving passengers with signs of respiratory conditions were isolated and investigated to rule out formidable infectious illnesses.

The airport clinics offered yellow fever vaccinations more cheaply than private clinics and the OR Tambo clinic had vaccinated over 1368 people against the disease since 2009.

The clinics also disinfected aircraft coming from yellow fever and malaria endemic countries.