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US CDC expanding surveillance at 4 major US airports to look for Omicron

00:00  01 december  2021
00:00  01 december  2021 Source:   cnn.com

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  Omicron Variant: Germany, Czech Republic Report Suspected Cases After U.K. Confirmation Several countries, including the U.S., Japan and Israel, have announced travel restrictions to avoid the mass spread of the latest COVID variant.Germany's Hessian Ministry for Social Affairs and Integration said Saturday that an individual who traveled to Germany from South Africa is suspected to be infected with the Omicron variant.

“ We might find that this Omicron variant has been circulating for a while just under the radar because it wasn't causing as severe illness, and we weren't sequencing or doing enough surveillance in those populations,” said Bright, who is now the CEO of The Rockefeller Foundation’s Pandemic Prevention Institute. CDC is expanding one surveillance effort to test travelers at some international airports to more rapidly detect Covid-19 cases among those arriving in the U . S ., according to Walensky. “ CDC is evaluating how to make international travel as safe as possible, including pre-departure testing closer

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The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expanding surveillance at four major international airports to keep an eye out for the Omicron variant of coronavirus in travelers, the agency's director said Tuesday.

Travelers arrive for flights at Newark Liberty International Airport on November 30, 2021 in Newark, New Jersey. The United States, and a growing list of other countries, has restricted flights from southern African countries due to the detection of the COVID-19 Omicron variant last week in South Africa. Stocks in the travel and airline industry have fallen in recent days as fears grow over the spread and severity of the variant. © Spencer Platt/Getty Images Travelers arrive for flights at Newark Liberty International Airport on November 30, 2021 in Newark, New Jersey. The United States, and a growing list of other countries, has restricted flights from southern African countries due to the detection of the COVID-19 Omicron variant last week in South Africa. Stocks in the travel and airline industry have fallen in recent days as fears grow over the spread and severity of the variant.

Dr. Rochelle Walensky told a White House Covid-19 briefing that the CDC is expanding surveillance with XpresCheck, a testing service at airport terminals, to the following four places:

Omicron is already global, tests for international flights are far better than African travel ban

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The U . S . Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC ) said on Monday everyone aged 18 years and older should get a COVID-19 booster shot, as it looks to tackle a new and highly infectious strain of the coronavirus that is quickly spreading across the globe. The update comes after President Joe Biden on Monday called for wider vaccination to curb the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant, which was first detected in southern Africa. The U . S . health regulators last week expanded the eligibility for booster shots of COVID-19 vaccines to all adults aged 18 and older either six months

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-- Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport

-- John F. Kennedy International Airport

-- Newark Liberty International Airport

-- San Francisco International Airport

She noted they are four of the busiest international airports in the country.

The Biden administration imposed new restrictions on travel from eight southern African countries, including South Africa, late last week. Omicron was first reported by South African health authorities.

But Delta Air Lines, with headquarters and major operations in Atlanta, said it plans to continue its Atlanta-Johannesburg flights.

United Airlines also said it does not plan to scale back service between Newark and Johannesburg and will restart its route to Cape Town, also in South Africa, next week as planned.

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The CDC announced Monday that all adults should get a Covid-19 booster shot, strengthening its previous recommendation amid growing concerns over the Omicron variant. The move is a major blow to Amazon, which had spent about a year aggressively campaigning for warehouse workers in Bessemer to reject the union, which they ultimately did by a wide margin. It also comes at a time of widespread labor unrest in the US as a somewhat rejuvenated American union movement is flexing its muscles in an economy that is seeking to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

The U . S . Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday expanded its recommendation for COVID-19 booster shots to all adults 18 and older, according to a CDC news release. Everyone ages 18 and older should get a booster shot either when they are 6 months after their initial Pfizer or Moderna series or 2 months after their initial J&J vaccine," the CDC said. Amid concerns over the "highly transmissible" omicron COVID-19 variant, the CDC continued to emphasize the importance of getting vaccinated as well as getting a booster dose to help stave off severe symptoms of the novel

This new effort is actually an expansion of a biosurveillance program first launched in September that provided testing for travelers arriving from India at JFK, Newark and San Francisco, according to XpresSpa Group, the parent company of XpresCheck.

Testing 'closer to the time of flights'

With the emergence of the Omicron variant, safety is on would-be air travelers minds.

"CDC is evaluating how to make international travel as safe as possible," Walensky said.

That includes "critical partner testing closer to the time of flights and considerations around additional post-arrival testing and self-quarantine," she said.

"This program allows for increased Covid testing for specific international arrivals," she said, "increasing our capacity to identify those with Covid-19 on arrival to the United States and enhancing our surveillance for the Omicron variant."

She said the CDC is also working with the airlines "to collect passenger information that can be used by CDC and local public health jurisdictions to enhance contact tracing and post-arrival follow-up should a case be identified in a traveler."

Coordinating locally and globally

The CDC is also keeping in close touch with state and local health officials, she said.

"We are holding regular, even daily calls, with local county and state health officials and our public health partners. These calls include state, county and city health officials, state epidemiologists, laboratory directors and partners from public health organizations," Walensky said.

"And we are continuously working closely with our public health partners, both here in America and around the world."

These are the states where the omicron variant has been identified .
The new omicron coronavirus variant has been found in 12 U.S. states just three days days after the first case in the country was announced. The new variant, which was first discovered in South Africa, was announced in late November and has already spread to dozens of countries across the world. One day after Thanksgiving, the Wold Health Organization (WHO) held an emergency meeting on the variant, which it has determined is a "variant ofThe new variant, which was first discovered in South Africa, was announced in late November and has already spread to dozens of countries across the world.

usr: 1
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