Measles added to HHS, CDC list of quarantinable diseases

The White House added measles to the list of diseases for which HHS and the CDC have the authority to issue federal quarantine orders, The Hill reports. 

The action, issued through an executive order Sept. 17, follows a small measles outbreak among recent arrivals from Afghanistan. President Joe Biden has since paused flights that were bringing Afghan evacuees housed at military bases to the U.S. 

"This action was taken at the request of public health officials, who cited the cases of measles among Afghans who recently arrived in the U.S. as well as several previous outbreaks of measles in recent years," told the Hill

While a measles vaccine was already required upon landing, the Defense Department has now started administering the shots abroad. Flights for Afghan evacuees will resume once everyone is fully vaccinated against the measles, according to the Hill

In 2019, there were 1,282 measles cases in the U.S. — the highest since 1992, according to CDC data cited by the Hill

Other communicable diseases the federal government has the authority to issue quarantine for include cholera, diphtheria, infectious tuberculosis, and severe acute respiratory syndromes, among others. 

The addition of measles was not reflected on the CDC's website as of Sept. 20.

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