Measles Outbreak Extends Pause on Afghan Refugees’ Flights to US

After at least five Afghan evacuees were diagnosed with measles, Biden administration has extended for an additional week the pause on flights carrying Afghan refugees to the United States, Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said on Monday as quoted by Military Times.

The US halted all flights with Afghan evacuees en route to the US Last week due to four cases of measles.

Kirby pointed that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has requested the Operation Allies Welcome flights into the United States to remain paused for at least a week due to the recent diagnosed cases of measles.

According to the data Kirby presented, three cases of measles were diagnosed among Afghans arriving at Dulles International Airport in Virginia, one at Wisconsin’s Fort McCoy and one has been diagnosed at Fort Pickett in Virginia

He noted that the Afghan evacuees that were positive for measles are housed separately and are receiving medical care while the authorities are making all efforts to determine who at any of the bases may have been exposed via contact tracing.

The United States has so far admitted more than 40,000 Afghan evacuees that are temporarily housed at eight military facilities across the country.

All evacuees, according to Kirby, are receiving any necessary immunizations, including for measles, when they arrive in the US but they will soon be getting the vaccines at Europe and the Middle East bases where they’re held prior to their flights to the US.

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