- Travelers coming in from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Guinea will be subject to extra scrutiny because of Ebola concerns.
- According to the CDC, these travelers will be directed to six US airports.
- There, airlines will collect and send their info to local health departments for tracking purposes.
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The United States will begin tracking people who arrive from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Guinea, two countries facing Ebola outbreaks.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Friday that the US government will “institute public health measures” for travelers coming in from those two countries “out of an abundance of caution,” as the threat of the outbreaks to the US remained low.
“Beginning next week, the US government will funnel travelers from DRC and Guinea to six US airports,” the agency said in a statement. “Airlines will collect and transmit passenger information to CDC for public health follow-up and intervention for all passengers boarding a flight to the US who were in DRC or Guinea within the previous 21 days.”
The information will be shared with local health departments for tracking and monitoring.
Earlier this month, Guinea declared its first Ebola outbreak since 2016.
As Insider’s Morgan McFall-Johnson previously reported, Ebola can lead to fever, aches, and fatigue. It has a fatality rate of about 50%. At least three people have died in Guinea from Ebola since the outbreak was detected in February.
The Democratic Republic of Congo reported another outbreak earlier this month as well, according to the World Health Organization.
The risk of Ebola becoming an outbreak in the United States is “extremely low,” the CDC said.
But the agency still recommends that the US take precautions, especially as the country battles new variants of the coronavirus.
Researchers have found at least seven new variants in the United States, each of which could be more contagious than the original strain.
It’s been almost a year since the WHO declared the coronavirus a pandemic. Since then, more than 28 million people in the United States have contracted the virus, according to the latest data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Of that, more than 500,000 Americans have died.
In 2016, more than 11,000 people died from a two-year Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
The Guinean government is taking steps to put an end to the resurgence before it spreads more widely. A new Ebola treatment center is being constructed and an Ebola vaccine is being rushed out, Insider’s McFall-Johnson reported.
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