Emirates planes at the Dubai airport on May 8, 2014. / Kamran Jebreili, AP
Dubai-based airline Emirates has suspended its flights to the West African nation of Guinea on concerns about the spread of the Ebola virus there.
The airline - the biggest in the Middle East and one of the world's top carriers of international passengers - suspended its service between Dubai and the Guinean capital of Conakry on Saturday. Emirates says the flights will remain grounded until further notice.
Guinea is one of several West African nations hit hard by an outbreak of Ebola. More than 700 deaths have been reported in the West African nations of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
Fast-growing Emirates has become one of the world's busiest airlines, its hub in Dubai now a major global crossroads for air travel. Flights from the airport reach all corners of the globe as Emirates funnels connecting passengers through Dubai.
Emirates began flying to Guinea in October 2013.
Emirates tells The Associated Press it will continue to fly to Senegal, which borders Guinea to the north. The carrier tells the news agency it "will be guided by the updates from international health authorities."
Emirates' move comes after U.S. health officials issued a travel warning Thursday for Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.
"Ebola is worsening in West Africa," Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in announcing the advisory against "non-essential" travel to those nations.
Meanwhile, USA TODAY reports world and U.S. health officials have urged airline crews to isolate passengers who show symptoms of the Ebola virus if they have recently traveled to the outbreak-stricken West African countries.
Still, the World Health Organization hasn't yet recommend screening airline passengers leaving Guinea, Liberia or Sierra Leone. Screening is costly and detected few cases after an outbreak in 2003 of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS, that began in China, reports USA TODAY's Bart Jansen.
Copyright 2014USA TODAY
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