U.S. ends special Ebola screening for travelers from Mali

A U.S. Coast Guard Corpsman working with the Office of Field Operations checks the temperature of a traveler who has recently traveled to either Guinea, Sierra Leone, or Liberia in this handout picture from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection taken at Washington Dulles International Airport October 16, 2014. REUTERS/U.S. Customs and Border Protection/Josh Denmark/Handout via Reuters
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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Travelers from Mali will no longer face enhanced screening upon arrival in the United States, U.S. officials said on Monday, in a move reflecting the West African nation's gains over Ebola. Starting on Tuesday, passengers from Mali will not have to travel to the United States through five specified airports or be subjected to additional screening or monitoring for the virus, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said in a statement. Officials said the last Ebola patient in Mali tested negative on Dec. 5, and there are no other active cases in the country, which has seen cases of the disease as a result of the outbreak in nearby Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Enhanced screening from travelers from those three nations are still in effect. And anyone who traveled from Mali and entered the United Stated before Tuesday must still be monitored for the virus for 21 days, the period it takes for symptoms to emerge, the statement said. "Subsequent isolated cases of Ebola in Mali would not automatically require reinstitution of these measures, which are used only when there is a risk of widespread transmission," officials said. U.S. officials enacted additional layers of airline passenger screening in October as part of a stepped up effort to stop the spread of the virus. Although the brunt of the outbreak is centered in West Africa, the September death of a Liberian man who fell ill in Texas rattled Americans. (Reporting by Susan Heavey; Editing by Bill Trott and Leslie Adler)

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