WASHINGTON—The U.S. begins screening travelers coming from Uganda for Ebola, the Biden administration said on Thursday that it would begin testing for Ebola as an additional precaution aimed at preventing an outbreak in the African country. .
No cases of Ebola have been reported outside of Uganda and the risk in the United States is considered low. US officials described the screening move as an added precaution.
Screenings will begin immediately. Travelers who have been in Uganda at any point in the past 21 days, the incubation period for the virus, will be redirected to one of his five airports in the United States for screening for Ebola. New York Kennedy International Airport, Washington Dulles International Airport, Newark New Jersey Liberty International Airport, Chicago O’Hare International Airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
Screening applies to all passengers who have been in Uganda, including US citizens. This includes temperature and symptom checks performed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). CDC also collects contact information shared with the local health department at the traveler’s destination.
About 145 people enter the United States from Uganda every day, most of them already arriving at five major airline hubs, according to the government. Anyone planning to fly to another airport will be rebooked by the airline, the administration said.
Also on Thursday, the CDC sent a health alert to doctors, urging them to obtain travel histories from patients with Ebola-like symptoms.
Ebola virus disease is spread primarily through contact with the blood and other bodily fluids of sick or dead infected people. Symptoms include fever, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle pain, and sometimes bleeding.
This is the sixth Ebola outbreak in Uganda, but the outbreak is growing rapidly. As of Thursday, 44 confirmed cases and 10 deaths have been confirmed since the first case was diagnosed on September 19.