Science

US resumes airport screening for Ebola as outbreak in Uganda

The Biden administration announced Thursday that it plans to funnel all passengers flying into the US from Uganda through five international airports in response to “increased screening”. Ebola outbreak in Uganda

The State Department said the move would take effect from midnight on Friday morning, reviving a set of measures implemented by federal health officials in response to previous Ebola outbreaks abroad as recently as 2016. In 2021, CDC also resupply passengers From the Democratic Republic of Congo and Guinea to collect contact information.

Airlines will be required to route passengers who have been in Uganda during the past three weeks through one of five airports:

  • New York John F Kennedy International Airport
  • Newark Liberty International Airport
  • Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport
  • Chicago O’Hare International Airport
  • Washington Dulles International Airport.

There, passengers will undergo “advanced screening” measures designed to assess whether they have symptoms of the disease before they are allowed to continue on to their destination.

The State Department said the change applies to all travelers, including US citizens.

Experts say that this step can stop Travelers who recently arrived in Uganda

Previous attempt to conduct exit and entry screening for ebolaLater 2014 case, identified seven passengers with probable symptoms – none of whom were eventually diagnosed with the disease. A passenger later developed symptoms after being screened and tested positive for the virus after arriving in the US

Ebola infection usually begins with symptoms such as fever and fatigue, before more severe vomiting, diarrhea, bleeding, and often death. The World Health Organization says there may be an incubation period of up to three weeks after exposure before symptoms of the virus begin.

The move comes as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has warned doctors and health departments over the outbreak, urging them to immediately screen any suspected cases for their recent travel history.

The CDC says that the risk of spreading the Ebola virus in the US is low. Cases in Uganda have not been seen in the country’s capital or travel hub.

However, the CDC says that “as a precaution” it is hoping to raise awareness about the virus given the case of inflammation in Uganda.

“While there are no direct flights from Uganda to the United States, travelers passing through or from affected areas in Uganda may enter the United States on flights connecting to other countries,” the agency said in a health alert published on Thursday. “

The Biden administration has reacted to the outbreak, which CDC employees included Working with health officials on the ground in Uganda. Health and Human Services Secretary Javier Becerra spoke with his counterpart in Uganda on Tuesday, pledging to support the country’s campaign to end the outbreak and express sympathy for those killed by the virus so far.

Since the outbreak was first announced on September 20, the World Health Organization said this week that 63 cases of Ebola were confirmed or probable. At least 29 people have died.

The strain of Ebola behind the outbreak is known as Sudan virus, which is mostly spread through close contact with blood or other bodily fluids.

The World Health Organization says the share of cases in previous outbreaks of Sudan Ebola virus infection was between 41% and 100%.

Unlike some other Ebola viruses, there are currently no licensed vaccines or treatments to prevent the Sudan virus. The doses of the Erwebo vaccine in the US Strategic National Stockpile are not expected to work for Sudan virus infections, the CDC said.

A vaccine candidate from Johnson & Johnson supported by the National Institutes of Health that could work against the Sudan virus is still in clinical trials. The WHO said Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine “may be effective but has not yet been specifically tested against Ebola Sudan.”

On the treatment front, the US Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response announced Tuesday that it will invest about $110 million from Map Biopharmaceuticals to accelerate the development of a monoclonal antibody drug for the Sudan virus.

“If this treatment is approved, it will put the US in a better position to prepare for and respond to potential Ebolavirus events in the future,” said the assistant secretary of preparedness and response. Given the current outbreak of Ebola in Uganda, Sudan Well, this work is even more important now.” Don O’Connell said in a statement.

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