After identifying a minor measles outbreak among Afghans arriving in the United States, the United States has halted all U.S.-bound flights of Afghan evacuees from two major bases overseas.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the temporary halt was caused after detecting measles among four new immigrants to the United States.
“‘Operation Allies Welcome’ flights into the United States have been temporarily paused at the request of the [Centers for Disease Control] and out of an abundance of caution because of four diagnosed cases of measles among Afghans who recently arrived in the United States,” Psaki said.
Individuals are being isolated, and the CDC has undertaken thorough contact tracing, she said. In addition, as a condition of entry into the United States, all entering Afghans must be vaccinated against the disease, Fox News reported.
The Associated Press had previously reported that flights out of Qatar and Germany had been halted due to “health safety concerns.” In addition, nearly 10,000 people have been evacuated from the U.S. military station in Ramstein, Germany.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), measles is a “highly contagious” virus that can be transferred by coughing, sneezing, inhaling contaminated air, or touching infected surfaces and then their faces.