Ebola Is Back: US To Screen Passengers From Uganda

US-bound travelers who have been to Uganda within the previous 21 days will be redirected to five major American airports to screen for Ebola, after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Thursday issued an alert to healthcare workers to raise awareness about the current outbreak.

Ebola Is Back: US To Screen Passengers From Uganda

The agency said there were currently no suspected or confirmed cases of the disease on US soil, as the Sudan strain of Ebola fuels the latest infections in Uganda.

According to Uganda’s Health Ministry, at least nine people had died of the disease in Uganda by Oct. 3, since authorities in the east African nation announced the outbreak of the deadly hemorrhagic fever on Sept. 20. It added there are 43 total cases, including the deaths.

U.S. screening was beginning on Thursday at airports but the funnelling requirements are expected to take effect within the coming week or so, a source told . -GH Standard

"Out of an abundance of caution (CDC) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will apply new layers of screening at these five U.S. airports in response to the Ebola outbreak in Uganda," said the US Embassy in Uganda.

The five airports are, JFK, Newark, Atlanta, Chicago O'Hare and Washington Dulles.

According to two sources, around 140 people who regularly go to Uganda are arriving daily in the US, with 62% of those landing at one of those five airports.

University of Minnesota infectious disease expert Dr. Michael Osterholm said the CDC's health alert is a reminder that people should be prepared for outbreaks to spread.

"We can handle Ebola safely in the hospital setting and provide the best care to the patient, but you have to be aware that it might even be a possibility," he said, referring to a 2014 incident in which an Ebola-stricken passenger who had been to Liberia was initially turned away by a hospital in Dallas - and then admitted two days later when he arrived by ambulance.

"The key message is if you see someone with a clinical illness and they had a history of being in Uganda, that’s where you want to concentrate your efforts," he said.

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