The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reportedly warned that Afghan refugees arriving in the United States are infected with concerning diseases: Malaria, Measles, and Tuberculosis.
NOQ Report said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has ordered that the Afghans would have to undergo quarantine and receive their necessary vaccines first. The Afghan refugees were flown in the United States after the Taliban takeover of their country and withdrawal of American military forces.
The CDC released a "Guidance for Clinicians Caring for Individuals Recently Evacuated from Afghanistan" Health Advisory on Monday alerting that the said refugees are carrying various infectious diseases.
"The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that clinicians be on alert for cases of measles that meet the case definition, as well as other infectious diseases, including mumps, leishmaniasis, and malaria, among evacuees (including both Afghan nationals and U.S. citizens) from Afghanistan," CDC announced.
"Clinicians should immediately notify their local or state health department of any suspected cases of measles. Clinicians should also recommend the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine for unvaccinated patients," the agency added.
The CDC explained that measles is "an extremely contagious infectious disease" that could infect nine out of 10 people or 90% of those who had close contact with and those who are not protected with the vaccine for it. CDC said that they have confirmed 16 cases of measles and 4 cases of mumps from the Afghan refugees, as well as, U.S. citizens that arrived from Afghanistan.
The agency pointed out that "continued vigilance is needed" and that vaccinations for "varicella, polio, COVID-19, and seasonal influenza" should also be updated.
In addition, the CDC revealed that upon being notified of the existence of such cases from the Afghan evacuees, the said patients have already been isolated and given necessary care including a 21-day quarantine. They have also conducted contact tracing and have attended to the necessary measures to avoid further spread of the said diseases.
The CDC advised that the same procedure be undertaken by the rest of the evacuees in terms of vaccination and quarantine including those who have been flown into the US "Safe Haven." The advise is given because some evacuees have left the said "Safe Heaven" before the infectious diseases were identified as existing. In line with this, the agency have already instructed that evacuation flights from other "Safe Heavens" be halted for the meantime.
"Some evacuees left bases before measles cases were identified and a mass vaccination campaign began. In addition, some evacuees who arrived in the United States early in the repatriation and resettlement process were transported to locations other than the current eight bases for temporary housing," the CDC elaborated.
"Evacuation flights from Safe Havens in other countries to the United States have been temporarily halted at CDC's request to facilitate MMR administration and post-vaccine quarantine efforts. During this halt, CDC has requested that all unvaccinated individuals awaiting evacuation be vaccinated for measles and quarantined for 21 days before leaving for the United States," the agency added.
The CDC highlighted that it expects additional measles infection being spread among Afghan evacuees who they say have 60% vaccine coverage and also due to their close proximity while being evacuated. The agency has called on public health officials to be on the lookout for possible systems of the disease among people in their respective areas and to implement the necessary measures to avoid further contamination of the public from them.
"As always, clinicians should be cognizant of the possibility of infections among patients arriving in or returning to the United States from other countries. Collecting a detailed travel history, particularly when signs and/or symptoms of gastrointestinal infections as mentioned above, mumps, varicella, tuberculosis, malaria, leishmaniasis, hepatitis A, and COVID-19 are present, may help in identifying and taking appropriate action to prevent further spread of these diseases within the United States," the CDC underscored.