Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Pentagon Tries to Calm Base Residents Over Afghan Measles Cases; Flights From Afghanistan Halted Due To Measles Cases On Board; Fort McCoy has had 1 Measles Case, MORE THAN A DOZEN COVID-19 CASES Among Afghans

AP Photo/Steve Helber
Pentagon tries to calm base residents over Afghan measles cases:
Pentagon officials are trying to reassure residents at two Army bases that they’re dealing strongly with a pair of measles outbreaks tied to newly arrived Afghan refugees. It was the latest snag in the Biden administration’s troubled effort to extricate the U.S. from America’s 20-year war in Afghanistan and provide for those who helped the American combat mission.
On Monday, Department of Defense officials confirmed that at least one Afghan evacuee each at Fort Pickett in Virginia and Fort McCoy, Wisc., has been diagnosed with measles. They are being quarantined and undergoing medical treatment, officials said.
“We want the people who work on these bases and the families who live there to know how seriously we’re taking it,” chief Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told reporters. “We are doing contact tracing right now so we can get a better sense of the scope of the possible infection.” --->READ MORE HERE
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Flights From Afghanistan Halted Due To Measles Cases On Board:
Over the past four weeks, over 60,000 individuals have arrived the United States under the program “Operation Allies Welcome,” according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. These included U.S. citizens, U.S. permanent residents, and Afghans. This past week, four people who recently arrived demonstrated signs and symptoms of measles, and were confirmed to have the virus and were placed under quarantine. Since then, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended that flights from Afghanistan to the U.S. be temporarily paused.
Measles is an extremely contagious viral infection which typically presents with high fevers, cough, malaise, and telltale red spots. Complications of the acute infection include meningitis (spinal fluid infection), deafness, encephalitis (brain infection), pneumonia and death. In 2000, measles was considered to be eradicated in the U.S., thanks to widespread vaccination programs. The measles vaccine is given as part of the MMR series, or measles/mumps/rubella vaccine. In some, the vaccine MMRV is given, which also includes the varicella vaccine, which prevents chicken pox in childhood and also prevents shingles later in adulthood.
Measles infections are one of the most contagious illnesses. Up to 90% of un-vaccinated individuals in contact with a measles patient can contract it. The virus can live for up to two hours in the air and on surfaces that have been in contact with an infected individual, and those infected can transmit it up to four days before and four days after symptoms and the rash develop. Despite the fact that measles was declared eradicated in the U.S. in 2000, outbreaks have resurfaced, in large part due to anti-vaccination sentiments. --->READ MORE HERE
Fort McCoy has had 1 measles case, more than a dozen COVID-19 cases among Afghans:
As of Thursday, Fort McCoy in western Wisconsin had fewer than two dozen COVID-19 cases and one measles case among the thousands of Afghan refugees staying there, a spokesperson said.
Everyone who has been infected with either measles or COVID-19 was isolated, and those who were exposed were put in quarantine, said Fort McCoy spokesperson Cheryl Phillips.
Before arriving at a base, all Afghan refugees are tested for COVID-19, offered a COVID-19 vaccine for free and given a medical screening, which includes “critical” immunizations against polio and measles, mumps and rubella, Phillips said.
Fort McCoy is one of eight military bases housing refugees who fled from Afghanistan after the recent collapse of the country’s government to the Taliban. Fort McCoy can accommodate up to 13,000 people, and 8,780 refugees had arrived as of Sept. 3. --->READ MORE HERE
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