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Monday, January 30, 2023
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Ebola: Tests for travelers from Uganda at 5 US airports

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Starting today, the State Department announced, all travelers arriving in the country by air who have passed through Uganda in the past 21 days must arrive at one of five specific airports — New York, Newark, Atlanta, Chicago and of Washington—where they will be examined by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) staff and interviewed by Border Patrol personnel.

The United States announced Thursday that it is stepping up screening procedures for travelers arriving on its territory from Uganda, as the African country has been battling an Ebola outbreak since last month.

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Starting today, the State Department announced, all travelers arriving in the country by air who have passed through Uganda in the past 21 days must arrive at one of five specific airports — New York, Newark, Atlanta, Chicago and of Washington—where they will be examined by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) staff and interviewed by Border Patrol personnel.

The CDC, the main federal public health agency, issued an alert about the disease caused by the Ebola virus after Uganda’s Ministry of Health announced on September 20 that an outbreak had broken out in Mubende District.

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As of yesterday Wednesday, the World Health Organization (WHO) counted 63 confirmed and probable cases of Ebola in the African country, 29 of which led to the deaths of the patients.

According to the CDC, the outbreak appears to have been contained to five districts in central Uganda.

As of yesterday Thursday, “no suspected, possible confirmed cases (of Ebola) linked to this outbreak had been reported in the US or in countries other than Uganda,” the agency reassured.

There are no direct flights between Uganda and the US, but the health service considers it critical that all travelers who have passed through the country are screened to prevent the risk of the disease spreading.

The US had also imposed strict screening procedures in 2014 when an Ebola outbreak raged in west Africa.

Eight people had to be treated for the disease on American soil, two of whom succumbed.

RES-EMP

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