The CDC says the US will screen and track people traveling from countries with Ebola cases

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is shown Sunday, March 15, 2020, in Atlanta.

  • 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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Guinea declares first Ebola outbreak since 2016, after confirming 7 new cases linked to a funeral

ebola sierra leone west africa outbreak 2014 protective gear healthcare worker
Health workers put on protective gear before entering an Ebola quarantine zone at a Red Cross facility in the town of Koidu, in Eastern Sierra Leone, December 19, 2014.

  • Guinea declared an outbreak of Ebola on Sunday, the country’s first reports of the virus since 2016.
  • Three people have died, among seven confirmed cases of Ebola linked to a nurse’s funeral.
  • The Guinean health ministry says it has isolated the survivors and begun contact tracing. 
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Guinea has declared an Ebola outbreak for the first time since 2016, when a two-year outbreak in West Africa finally ended after killing more than 11,000 people.

The new outbreak, in the town of Gouécké, has already killed three – two women and a man. They were among seven people who attended a nurse’s funeral on February 1 and later came down with diarrhea, vomiting, and bleeding. All seven cases have now been confirmed as Ebola virus.

The four people who are still alive have been isolated and contact tracing has begun, Guinea’s health ministry, Agence Nationale de Sécurité Sanitaire (ANSS), said in a Facebook post on Sunday.

Ebola can cause fever, aches, and fatigue before progressing to “wet” symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, and hemorrhaging. On average, its fatality rate is about 50%. 

The virus spreads through the bodily fluids of a sick or recently deceased person. Certain body fluids, like semen, can still transmit the virus after an infected person has recovered from their illness, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Infected animals, like bats or primates, can transmit the virus to humans and spark new outbreaks.

“The resurgence of Ebola is very concerning for what it could do for the people, the economy, the health infrastructure,” Dr. Krutika Kuppalli, an assistant professor of medicine for infectious diseases at the Medical University of South Carolina, told The Associated Press.

“We’re still understanding the repercussions of the (last) outbreak on the population,” she added.

Kuppalli was the medical director of an Ebola-treatment unit in Sierra Leone during the 2014-2016 outbreak, which began in Guinea then spread to Liberia and Sierra Leone. More than 28,000 people contracted the virus during those years, according to the CDC.

This is West Africa’s first outbreak since then. The Guinean government says it is rushing to quash the resurgence, build a new Ebola treatment center, and accelerate distribution of the Ebola vaccine. 

health workers walk inside a new graveyard for Ebola victims, on the outskirts of Monrovia, Liberia. Despite the drop in reported Ebola cases, Dr. Bruce Aylward, leading WHO’s Ebola response, declared Friday April 10, 2015, that it’s too early for World Health Organization to downgrade the global emergency status of the biggest-ever Ebola outbreak in Africa.
Health workers walk inside a new graveyard for Ebola victims, on the outskirts of Monrovia, Liberia, March 11, 2015.

“The government reassures the people that all measures are being taken to curb this epidemic as quickly as possible,” the ANSS said in its Facebook post.

Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, the World Health Organization’s regional director for Africa, said on Twitter that she was “very concerned” by the new outbreak and that the WHO was also “ramping up readiness & response efforts.”

Since 2016, new Ebola outbreaks have only appeared in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, including one that was particularly deadly from the summer of 2018 to the summer of 2020. More than 2,000 people died during that resurgence.

The Congo reported another outbreak of the virus last week. It seems to be unrelated to Guinea’s new cases.

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