By David Shepardson
WASHINGTON, March 1 (Reuters) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will impose new public health requirements for U.S. visitors who have recently been in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) or Guinea because of concerns about Ebola, the agency said on Monday.
Starting this week, the U.S. government will require travelers from DRC and Guinea to fly into six U.S. airports. Airlines will collect and transmit passenger information to the CDC for public health follow-up for all passengers boarding a flight to the United States who were in DRC or Guinea within the previous 21 days.
Recently, less than 100 people a day have been arriving in the United States who have been in either country. The CDC said the outbreaks are centered in remote areas of the countries and added that “the risk of Ebola to the United States is extremely low.”
The CDC said the “Biden Administration is committed to working closely with the affected countries to end these outbreaks before they grow into epidemics.”
Passengers will undergo verification of data on U.S. arrival to ensure accurateness of contact information that will be shared with U.S. state and local health departments to monitor arrivals.
In January, the Biden Administration barred most non-U.S. citizens from the United States who have been in South Africa within the prior 14 days, extending restrictions in place for Brazil and most of Europe since 2020.
Three new cases of Ebola have been confirmed in eastern DRC, bringing to 11 the number of cases since authorities declared a resurgence of the virus last month, the health minister of North Kivu province, Eugene Nzanzu Salita, told reporters on Monday.
The cases represent a flare-up of the 2018-20 epidemic, which killed more than 2,200 people before it was declared over last June. Four people have died and two have recovered among the 11 cases. (Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Dan Grebler)
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