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U.S. pauses inbound flights with Afghan evacuees after four instances of measles detected

Evacuees board an Atlas plane bringing them from Afghanistan to the USA from the Ramstein Air Base on August 26, 2021 in Ramstein-Miesenbach, Germany.

Andreas Rentz | Getty Photographs

U.S.-bound flights carrying evacuees from Afghanistan are on maintain after 4 instances of measles have been recognized amongst Afghans who had already arrived within the nation, the White Home mentioned Friday.

The flights have been briefly paused “out of an abundance of warning” on the request of the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention, White Home press secretary Jen Psaki advised reporters.

The Afghans recognized with the measles are in quarantine in accordance with public well being pointers, and the CDC has begun contact-tracing steps, Psaki mentioned.

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The CDC didn’t instantly reply to CNBC’s request for touch upon Psaki’s remarks.

Psaki famous that every one of these arriving as a part of “Operation Allies Welcome,” the Biden administration’s ongoing effort to resettle Afghan allies following the complete U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, are required to be vaccinated for the measles as a situation of entry.

The unprecedented effort to evacuate 1000’s of U.S. residents, Afghans and different allies earlier than the end-of-August troop withdrawal deadline led to chaotic bottlenecks of individuals crowding Hamid Karzai Worldwide Airport in Kabul. 13 U.S. service members and dozens of others have been killed in a suicide bombing close to the airport days earlier than the withdrawal was full.

In whole, the U.S. and its allies have moved greater than 124,000 individuals, together with 6,000 U.S. residents out of Afghanistan, the State Division mentioned this week.

There are nonetheless U.S. residents, lawful everlasting residents and U.S.-allied Afghans attempting to go away Afghanistan. Twenty-one extra U.S. residents and 11 lawful everlasting residents departed the nation on Friday, in line with the White Home.

Measles is a extremely contagious virus that may be unfold by means of coughing or sneezing, the CDC says. Individuals can turn into contaminated with measles in the event that they breathe contaminated air, or in the event that they contact a contaminated floor after which contact their eyes, noses or mouths, in line with the company.

About half 1,000,000 new measles instances have been reported to the CDC yearly for 20 years, till the introduction of a measles vaccine in 1963. In 2000, the general public well being company declared measles was not being transmitted amongst Individuals.

However a whole lot of measles instances have been reported in 2019 — an enormous leap from prior years — as a rising variety of mother and father refused to vaccinate their youngsters.


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