Oct. 7, 2022 -- As an Ebola outbreak in Africa worsens, the Biden administration has ordered all travelers from Uganda to land at five U.S. airports for health screenings.

The airports are JFK International Airport in New York, Washington Dulles International Airport in D.C., Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey, Chicago O’Hare International Airport, and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the U.S. State Department said in a health alert. 

Travelers will be given temperature checks upon landing if they’ve been in Uganda during the last 21 days, which is the incubation time for the Ebola virus, The Washington Post reported, citing an unnamed administration official. For 21 days after their arrival, state and local health officials will check on the travelers.

About 145 people arrive from Uganda daily, mostly at those airports, the Post reported. There are no direct flights from Uganda to the U.S.

“To date in this outbreak, cases have only been confirmed in Uganda and no suspected, probable, or confirmed cases of Ebola have been reported in the United States, and the risk of Ebola domestically is currently low. The enhanced screening applies to all passengers, including U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, and visa holders (to include Diplomatic and Official visas),” the State Department health alert said. 

As of Oct. 6, there have been 44 confirmed cases, 10 confirmed deaths, and 20 probable deaths caused by Ebola in Uganda, which the nation’s health ministry declared an outbreak on Sept. 20, according to the CDC. The outbreak is caused by the Sudan virus, against which there is no FDA-licensed vaccine. 

Ebola is a virus spread by contact with the body fluids of an infected person or contaminated materials. Symptoms are fever, headache, muscle and joint pain, fatigue, loss of appetite, gastrointestinal symptoms, and unexplained bleeding.

An Ebola outbreak was declared in April in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the World Health Organization said at the time. 

Show Sources

SOURCES:

State Department: “Health Alert – Enhanced Screening at Designated U.S. Airports-U. S. Embassy Kampala.”

The Washington Post: “U.S. to redirect travelers from Uganda to five airports for Ebola screening.”

CDC: “Outbreak of Ebola virus disease (Sudan ebolavirus) in Central Uganda.”

The World Health Organization: “Democratic Republic of Congo declares new Ebola outbreak in Mbandaka.”

 

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