US to stop special health screenings of travelers from Liberia

US to stop special health screenings of travelers from Liberia

After the WHO declared Liberia Ebola-free on September 3, the CDC has decided to ease precautionary measures

Passengers coming from Liberia will no longer have to go through enhanced visa and port-of-entry screenings to check for Ebola, according to officials from the US Department of Homeland Security and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

On September 3, the World Heath Organization marked Liberia Ebola free after 42 days went by since the last patient had recovered, that is twice the length of the incubation period.

Following suit, the CDC will downgrade the travel warnings issued for Liberia. They now only advise travelers to take the ‘usual precautions’ when traveling in the country.

“Travelers departing Liberia will remain subject to outbound screening measures, and the United States will continue to support Liberia’s Ebola prevention and detection measures, including at its primary international airport,” said the CDC.

Liberia would have been declared Ebola free months ago, however, a new case emerged at the end of June leading the WHO to delay its announcement.

Since its outbreak in early 2014, Ebola has sickened 28,220 in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea; the disease killed over 11,000 people.

“Under the leadership of the Liberia Government authorities, an effective response was rapidly initiated to contain the new outbreak,” said the WHO. “Members of the community were engaged and effectively contributed to contact tracing and social mobilization. International partners supported the government in areas such as technical assistance, provision of personnel, food, supplies and equipment.”

The enhanced health screenings and visa checks will remain in place for travelers coming from Sierra Leone and Guinea for the time being.

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