The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that travelers from Mali will undergo enhanced screening for the Ebola virus beginning today.
The CDC recommended the screenings as a precautionary measure as the reported cases of infection in Mali has increased.
There are no direct flights to and from Mali in the U.S. However, on average, 15 to 20 passengers a day enter the country after having flown out from Mali, a majority of these being returning U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents.
The same procedures that have been placed on travelers from Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia will be applied to Mali travelers. Incoming travelers will undergo the same 21-day monitoring period with temperature and symptom checks. For ease in administration, all travelers from Mali will be routed to one of five airports already set up for the screenings: JFK International Airport in New York, Chicago O'Hare, Newark, Washington-Dulles or Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson.
The current Ebola outbreak began in December of 2013 in Guinea and is the largest outbreak ever. It is also the first time the virus has spread to the U.S. This fall, the virus infected two travelers to the U.S., killing one. Two health care workers in Texas also contacted the disease, but have since recovered.