C.D.C. Mandates Measles Vaccinations, Quarantines for Afghan Refugees

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Politics|C.D.C. mandates measles vaccinations and quarantines for Afghan refugees.


Hundreds of Afghans and foreigners passed done  checkpoints astatine  the Kabul airdrome  past  month.
Credit...Kiana Hayeri for The New York Times

Eileen Sullivan

  • Sept. 20, 2021, 6:52 p.m. ET

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is requiring Afghan refugees to get vaccinated against measles and quarantine for 21 days, aft immoderate were recovered to person the highly contagious microorganism erstwhile they arrived successful the state this month.

As of Monday, the C.D.C. said it knew of 16 confirmed cases of measles among Afghan evacuees and Americans who fled Afghanistan successful caller weeks — up from six that the White House confirmed precocious past week — and 4 cases of mumps. Evacuees connected American subject bases successful the United States and overseas volition person to hold 3 weeks aft getting the MMR vaccine that protects against measles, mumps and rubella earlier they tin leave, the C.D.C. said, to springiness the vaccine clip to instrumentality effect.

The bureau said Monday that immoderate Afghan evacuees had “left bases earlier measles cases were identified,” prompting a wide vaccination campaign. The caller accusation came successful a peculiar advisory that the bureau issued to doctors astir the country, informing them to beryllium connected alert for cases of measles and different infectious diseases among evacuees from Afghanistan.

The advisory said the C.D.C. was “also alert of immoderate cases” of tuberculosis, chickenpox, malaria, leishmaniasis, hepatitis A and Covid-19 among evacuees. It warned that the evacuees were astatine accrued hazard of gastrointestinal infections arsenic well, including shigellosis, giardiasis and cryptosporidiosis.

On Friday, President Biden signed an executive order that added measles to a database of communicable diseases that could necessitate quarantines.

The C.D.C. said it expected measles infections to dispersed among evacuees due to the fact that lone 60 percent of radical surviving successful Afghanistan person been vaccinated and the state ranks seventh successful the satellite for measles cases, and due to the fact that evacuees person been surviving successful adjacent quarters during the evacuation process.

Measles was declared eliminated from the United States successful 2000, which means the illness is nary longer endemic, but travelers proceed to bring it into the country, posing an ongoing hazard to the unvaccinated.

People vaccinated against measles are usually afloat protected aft 2 oregon 3 weeks, according to the C.D.C. There were 13 confirmed cases of measles successful the United States successful 2020, according to the agency, and 1,282 successful 2019, which was the largest outbreak successful the state since 1992. The illness tin beryllium peculiarly unsafe to unvaccinated children, large women and newborns.

Flights carrying Afghan evacuees to the United States person been paused since earlier this month, erstwhile a fewer passengers were recovered to beryllium infected with measles.

Tens of thousands of Afghan refugees who fled the Taliban successful a chaotic evacuation this summertime are awaiting resettlement successful the United States. Most of them person been waiting connected subject bases for weeks careless of whether they request to beryllium vaccinated, and the stays could agelong into months arsenic they hold to beryllium resettled.

Understand the Taliban Takeover successful Afghanistan

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Who are the Taliban? The Taliban arose successful 1994 amid the turmoil that came aft the withdrawal of Soviet forces from Afghanistan successful 1989. They utilized brutal nationalist punishments, including floggings, amputations and wide executions, to enforce their rules. Here’s much connected their root communicative and their grounds arsenic rulers.

Most of the evacuees who person arrived successful the United States flew into Dulles International Airport successful Virginia, and the authorities has declared a measles outbreak successful the bluish and cardinal regions successful transportation with them. According to the Virginia Department of Health’s website, assemblage transmission of measles has not been identified, and officials judge the hazard to the wide nationalist is low.

The C.D.C. urged doctors to beryllium connected the lookout for measles cases successful communities adjacent the subject bases lodging the evacuees, which see Marine Corps Base Quantico, Fort Lee and Fort Pickett successful Virginia; Holloman Air Force Base successful New Mexico; Fort McCoy successful Wisconsin; Fort Bliss successful Texas; Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst successful New Jersey; and Camp Atterbury successful Indiana.

The measles microorganism lives successful the chemoreceptor and pharynx of radical who are infected and is highly contagious: Around 9 retired of 10 radical who are successful adjacent interaction and not protected against it volition go infected, according to the C.D.C.

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