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US Five People Who Traveled to Virginia From Afghanistan Test Positive for Measles

09:40  15 september  2021
09:40  15 september  2021 Source:   newsweek.com

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Five people who recently traveled to Virginia from Afghanistan have been diagnosed with measles, according to a Tuesday statement from the Virginia Department of Health.

a group of people standing in a train station: The Taliban warned they will not allow any Afghans to be evacuated after the Aug. 31 deadline self-imposed by the U.S. In this Aug. 22, 2021, photo provided by the U.S. Air Force, Afghan passengers board a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III during the Afghanistan evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan. © MSgt. Donald R. Allen/U.S. Air Force via AP The Taliban warned they will not allow any Afghans to be evacuated after the Aug. 31 deadline self-imposed by the U.S. In this Aug. 22, 2021, photo provided by the U.S. Air Force, Afghan passengers board a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III during the Afghanistan evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan.

The statement said the five measles cases were from people involved with the U.S. government's emergency evacuation efforts from Afghanistan.

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The news comes after the U.S. stopped in-bound flights of Afghan evacuees on Friday following the detection of a few cases of measles.

The Virginia Department of Health did not indicate where the people involved with the cases are currently located but noted that the agency is working to identify people who may have been exposed in three parts of the central and northern regions of the state.

"The Richmond and Henrico Health Districts (RHHD) have worked with a Richmond area hospital to identify and notify individuals potentially exposed at the hospital on September 10," the department release read. "In addition, the Piedmont Health District is working with federal partners to identify exposures at Fort Pickett in Nottoway County. On Friday, health departments in Northern Virginia announced that they were working together to identify people who may have been exposed at Dulles International Airport and other locations."

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Most Americans receive the measles vaccine as children, which provides lifelong immunity. The disease is highly contagious and can be spread through coughing, sneezing and contact with droplets from the nose, mouth or throat.

Symptoms include cough, runny nose, inflamed eyes, sore throat, fever and a skin rash. There's no treatment to get rid of measles infection, though some over-the-counter medications may help reduce the effects of some symptoms.

The Virginia Health Department noted that "[m]easles is common in many parts of the world" and urged parents "to make sure children are up to date on their childhood vaccinations."

During a press briefing on Friday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki discussed the halt on U.S.-bound flights of Afghan evacuees, a decision made by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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Psaki said the flights had been "temporarily paused at the request of the CDC and out of an abundance of caution because of four diagnosed cases of measles among Afghans who recently arrived in the United States."

"These individuals are being quarantined in accordance with public health guidelines, and the CDC has begun full contact tracing. All arriving Afghans are currently required to be vaccinated for measles as a condition of entry into the United States," Psaki added, noting critical immunizations are being administered for Afghans at U.S. military bases.

On Monday, the Pentagon announced that the pause in U.S.-bound flights of Afghan evacuees has been extended for at least seven more days.

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  • More Than Two-Thirds of Americans Support Resettling Afghan Refugees in U.S.: Poll

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The Latest: Pakistan says Afghanistan in crisis helps no one .
ISLAMABAD — Pakistan’s foreign minister says it is the collective responsibility of the international community to help Afghanistan to avert a humanitarian crisis. In a statement Friday, Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that despite having limited resources, Pakistan a day earlier sent a plane carrying food and medicines to Kabul. Qureshi said more such aid will be dispatched to Afghanistan via land routes. Qureshi made his comments ahead of the visit of his Spanish counterpart, José Manuel Albares, who was expected to arrive in the capital, Islamabad, later Friday, for talks on Afghanistan.

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