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Obama administration extends Ebola screening to passengers traveling from Mali


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Department of Homeland Security announced Sunday that all passengers traveling from Mali to the United States will be subject to screening and monitoring for Ebola.

Several cases of Ebola were reported in the West African nation of Mali last week. The CDC said those cases seem to be related to a man who became sick in Guinea.

Screen Shot 2014-11-17 at 8.54.50 AM A health worker sprays disinfectant near a mosque, after the body of a man suspected of dying from the Ebola virus was washed inside before being buried in Bamako, Mali. The CDC said Sunday that all travelers from Mali would undergo Ebola screening and monitoring.
Photo: AP Photo/Baba Ahmed

By the weekend, the CDC issued a travel warning for people in Mali, and joined with DHS to say people coming from Mali would now be screened.

"The CDC recommended this measure because there have been a number of confirmed cases of Ebola in Mali in recent days, and a large number of individuals may have been exposed to those cases," the CDC said Sunday. "Thus, the action is warranted as a precaution due to the possibility that other cases of Ebola may emerge in Mali in the coming days."

CDC said there are no direct flights from Mali to the United States, but said an average of 15 to 20 people come to the U.S. every day indirectly.

Starting Monday, those passengers will be monitored for symptoms, and will have to have their movements tracked and temperature taken for 21 days. All passengers who start in Mali will have to land in one of five major airports that have enhanced screening technicians in place.

Those are the same protocols set up for travelers from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, the locations of what has been the biggest outbreak of Ebola in history.

Many U.S. lawmakers have called for a complete travel ban for people traveling from these countries. But the urgency of that change has died down somewhat over the last few weeks, as there have been no reported transmissions of Ebola within the United States.

Over the weekend, a doctor who was treating people with Ebola in Sierra Leone was moved to a Nebraska hospital to be treated. On Monday morning, it was reported that Dr. Martin Salia passed away.

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