The Biden administration added measles to its quarantine disease list Friday after a minor outbreak of the disease among new arrivals from Afghanistan.
The executive order adds measles to the list of diseases in which the Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have the authority to issue federal quarantine orders, which require the isolation of individuals diagnosed with or exposed to measles to protect public health.
“This action was taken at the request of public health officials, who have noted cases of measles among Afghans who have recently arrived in the United States, as well as several previous measles outbreaks in recent years,” a White House spokesperson told me via email. hill.
The Biden administration recently suspended flights bringing in evacuees from Afghans who are currently staying at military bases overseas after six confirmed cases of measles.
The measles vaccine was already required upon landing, but amid the flights being halted, the Department of Defense has begun giving the measles vaccine overseas, pending the resumption of flights until everyone is fully vaccinated.
The executive order would have ramifications beyond the resumption of flights, giving the government the power to quarantine a disease that has risen slightly in recent years amid broader hesitation about vaccines.
The number of measles cases rose to 1,282 in 2019, the most reported cases in the United States since 1992, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Most cases were among people who had not been vaccinated against measles. Measles is more likely to spread and cause outbreaks in American communities where groups of people are not vaccinated.” Note CDC.
The move follows efforts by the Biden administration to combat vaccine hesitancy for the COVID-19 virus, requiring employers with more than 100 employees to require workplace vaccinations or weekly tests.
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