CDC issues guidance on polio, measles for Afghan refugees

A general view of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) headquarters in Atlanta.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued guidance on Tuesday to local health departments to maintain vigilance for measles and paralytic polio disease among arrivals from Afghanistan, according to a memo obtained by North State Journal.

The CDC says that “individuals from Afghanistan are being resettled across the U.S. Afghanistan ranks 7th in the world for measles cases with a current outbreak and one of only two countries with both wild and vaccine-derived poliovirus in circulation.”

The memo indicates that many of those arriving are choosing to have documents processed at military bases in the U.S. The CDC says efforts are being made to deliver vaccination records as soon as possible, but local health leaders should review typical symptoms of measles and polio for any refugee and contact county health departments if cases are suspected.