Ebola: U.S. CDC requires airlines travelers information, Guinea swiftly vaccinating people
Beginning Thursday, airlines will be required to collect and handover contact information to the CDC for all travelers to the U.S. who have been in the DRC or Guinea within the last 21 days before their arrival in the U.S., the CDC said Tuesday.
On Friday, the CDC announced that it would funnel travelers from the two countries through six U.S. airports in New York, Chicago, Atlanta, the District of Columbia, Newark and Los Angeles.
Airlines will be required to collect travelers’ names, addresses while in the U.S., primary contact phone numbers, secondary or emergency contact phone numbers and email addresses, the CDC said in a statement.
It’s “the minimum amount of information needed to locate travelers reliably,” the CDC added.
“Air travel has the potential to transport people, some of whom may have been exposed to a communicable disease, anywhere across the globe in less than 24 hours,” the CDC said.
“In certain situations, public health officials may need to follow up with travelers who have arrived from a country where an outbreak is occurring, such as the Ebola outbreaks in DRC and Guinea.”
Guinea’s ministry of health and public hygiene has acted swiftly to set up three nearby vaccination sites, each with the capacity to inoculate 100 people daily – the first time an Ebola vaccine has been deployed in the country.
As of 28 February, 1002 people had been vaccinated in Guinea, including 66 high-risk people that had been in contact with suspect cases.
“In the coming days, we will be able to vaccinate more people in order to contain this pandemic properly,” says Bachir Kanté, an official at the health ministry. ■