US health officials threaten to ban 8 measles patients from flights – as one politician demands vaccine checks on ALL foreign visitors before they enter the US
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have warned eight Americans suspected to have measles against traveling
- All eight have agreed to cancer their flights
- If any measles patients attempt to fly, they can be placed on a ‘Do Not Board’ list, enforced by the Department of Homeland Security
- The Executive of Rockland County, New York has asked President Trump to issue an executive order requiring all foreign visitors to prove they are vaccinated
US officials have threatened to place eight people suspected to be infected with measles under travel bans, the Washington Post found.
The eight people – from New York, California, Illinois, Oklahoma and Washington – were warned that if they attempted to travel, they could be put on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) federal Do Not Board List.
It’s a rarely-used, and potentially controversial weapon against public health threats, but the director of the CDC’s Division of Global Migration and Quarantine, Dr Martin Cetron, calls it ‘highly effective.’
According to the Washington Post, the people in question agreed to cancel their flights, abort their travel plans and respect the Do Not Board orders.
The CDC has warned eight US measles patients to cancel their flights, or face placement on a Homeland Security-enforceable ‘Do Not Board List’ (file)
The ongoing measles outbreak in the US has managed to spread to 26 states across the US – and officials are desperately trying to keep it from getting any further.
Measles was considered eradicated in the US in 2000, but, since then, anti-vaccination sentiments have surged and well over a billion people have traveled to the US from other countries.
And some of them have carried measles, even introducing the disease into unvaccinated, highly vulnerable populations here.
Now, Dr Cetron and his department are doing their utmost to keep infected Americans from spreading the disease any further around the country or beyond its borders.
The Do Not Board List – which, importantly, is distinct from the Do Not Fly list – has primarily been used to curb tuberculosis outbreaks.
In a few prior instances, it’s also been applied to people with measles.
The list came into existence in 2007, when a man with antibiotic-resistant tuberculosis ignored the advice of health officials, got on a plane and triggered international panic.
It was used again in 2014, to stop two travelers with probable measles infections from traveling.
Now, it’s back and eight names could end up on the list too, if they don’t heed the CDC’s warning.
The small, shared space, common surfaces and recirculating air give an airplane favorable conditions for disease transmission, though you’re unlikely to find yourself on a flight with an infected person.
If all else has failed, then the CDC works with airlines, federal and local officials to ensure that infected passengers don’t fly.
In the unlikely event that they don’t comply, the Department of Homeland Security can be asked to intercede.
A politician from hard-hit Rockland County, New York, county executive Ed Day today re-instated a state of emergency and called on President Trump to institute a requirement for all foreign visitors to carry proof of their vaccinations.
To do so would likely create logistical nightmares, however, and the Do Not Board list will likely serve as a half-measure until the measles outbreaks subside.