After four Afghanistan refugees were positively identified with measles once arriving in the U.S., the U.S. Border and Customs Patrol, along with the Centers for Disease Controlled ordered the halting of all inbound U.S. flights Qatar and Germany shuttling refugees.
“U.S. Customs and Border Protection made the decision on the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to halt the flights from U.S. bases in Germany and Qatar, according to a U.S. government document seen Friday by The Associated Press. The document cited unspecified health safety concerns,” USA Today reported.
Later, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki confirmed measles had been identified in the four individuals now in the United States.
In 2000, measles had been declared eliminated from the United States by the World Health Organization due to vaccination efforts.
The anti-vaccination movement has lead to a decline in measles vaccines given to children, which could pose a risk to the unvaccinated.
“The decision was made by U.S. Customs and Border Protection on the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the halt stemmed from discovery of measles among four Afghans who had arrived in the United States,” Stripes.com reported. “It was not immediately clear from Psaki’s remarks whether the stop applied to flights from all transit sites overseas, or only two of the biggest ones, in Qatar and in Germany.
Measles are a very serious disease that can cause death in young children.
“Measles is a childhood infection caused by a virus. Once quite common, measles can now almost always be prevented with a vaccine,” the Mayo Health Clinic says. “Also called rubeola, measles can be serious and even fatal for small children. While death rates have been falling worldwide as more children receive the measles vaccine, the disease still kills more than 100,000 people a year, most under the age of 5.”
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