Zika response: Customs continues monitoring for signs of illness at airports

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection is using its normal procedures of observing travelers for “general overt signs of illness” at airports and other ports of entry, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is not recommending enhanced entry screening for the Zika virus, according to officials.

“Based on our current understanding of the virus, enhanced public health entry screening for Zika would not be effective because most people who are infected with Zika are asymptomatic and therefore could not be identified during the screening process,” according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Customs and Border Protection is an agency within DHS.

Travelers who enter the United States with signs of illness are referred to a secondary inspection and could be referred to the CDC.

DHS said it has also issued advisories to its own workforce about the virus and is launching mosquito control measures at facilities that house people in its custody in parts of the country where mosquitoes have transmitted the virus.


(James Gathany/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention via AP)

The department said it is “closely monitoring the Zika virus and its impact.”



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