On Friday, President Joe Biden signed an order adding measles to the list of quarantinable diseases after some Afghan refugees were diagnosed with the highly contagious disease after arriving in the United States, which led to a pause in flights of US-bound refugees.
Measles is a highly contagious virus that can lead to severe health complications, which was declared eliminated in the United States in 2000. But, travellers have continued to bring the virus to the United States, leading to local spread also outbreaks among people who aren't vaccinated.
Last week, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said that anyone found to have measles had been quarantined and that arriving Afghans were required to be vaccinated for measles to enter the country. At military installations, the vaccine for measles, mumps, and rubella is being given to Afghans in the U.S.
She added the administration is exploring measures to vaccinate people across locations.
People are also being given Covid-19 vaccines and tested for the virus.
The Biden administration continues to grapple with how it will safely vet and resettle thousands of people who fled the Taliban as it took over Afghanistan this summer.
The Department of Defense Inspector General is now evaluating the military's process for screening and tracking Afghan evacuees this month, including individuals flagged as security risks.
Last month, the Pentagon also acknowledged unsanitary conditions at the Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar, the base where the U.S. military temporarily stationed thousands of evacuees from Afghanistan.
According to the CDC, measles can be dangerous, especially for babies and young children, and pneumonia is among the possible complications
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