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U.S. implements travel restrictions amid Ebola outbreaks

Ebola virus epidemics in Africa in 2014 and 2018 killed thousands of people. The current outbreaks have killed a combined nine people in Guinea and the Democratic Republic of Congo. File Photo by Ahmed Jallanzo/EPA-EFE
Ebola virus epidemics in Africa in 2014 and 2018 killed thousands of people. The current outbreaks have killed a combined nine people in Guinea and the Democratic Republic of Congo. File Photo by Ahmed Jallanzo/EPA-EFE

Feb. 27 (UPI) -- The U.S. government is implementing new measures to prevent the spread of the Ebola virus by travelers from Guinea and the Democratic Republic of Congo entering the country, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Saturday.

The announcement comes after Ebola outbreaks in the two African countries that have killed a combined nine people, according to the World Health Organization. Previous outbreaks in the countries -- and Liberia and Sierra Leone -- killed thousands of people.

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"Beginning next week, the U.S. government will funnel travelers from DRC and Guinea to six U.S. airports," the CDC said in a statement. "Airlines will collect and transmit passenger information to CDC for public health follow-up and intervention for all passengers boarding a flight to the U.S. who were in DRC or Guinea within the previous 21 days."

The release said Ebola outbreaks in the two countries are in remote areas and the risk of spread to the United States "is extremely low."

"The Biden administration is committed to working closely with the affected countries to end these outbreaks before they grow into epidemics," the CDC said.

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