Task Force McCoy: One case of measles, less than 24 cases of COVID among Afghans
FORT McCOY — There has been a single measles outbreak and fewer than two dozen cases of COVID-19 among Afghan evacuees, according to a spokesperson for Fort McCoy.
“There is not a measles outbreak at Fort McCoy,” said Cheryl Phillips, the director of Public Affairs for Task Force McCoy, a group made up of several federal divisions to process and provide service to the refugees on the Monroe County U.S. Army base.
A single person was diagnosed with measles Sept. 5 and placed in isolation. Those who were at risk of exposure were put into quarantine and received the measles vaccine.
“Since the identification of the case, no other guests have been diagnosed with measles. The rapid response at Fort McCoy reflects careful preparation and strong interagency collaboration aimed at meeting the needs of our guests, including the management of infectious disease,” said Phillips.
The U.S. government is also screening Afghan evacuees for COVID-19 and offering vaccinations at sites near the Washington-Dulles and Philadelphia International airports.
There have been fewer than 24 COVID-19 cases among the Afghan population. Those who have the virus are in quarantine, as well as about 125 people identified by contact tracing who may be at risk. The Wisconsin Department of Health reports that 121 Monroe County residents — not including the refugees — have been confirmed to have COVID-19 in the last seven days, as of Thursday afternoon.
“Afghan nationals who go to military bases will receive a medical screening, including for TB, and they will be given critical immunizations like MMR and polio to protect public health, these are conditions of their entry into the United States,” said Phillips.
DHS has coordinated the effort to get Afghans vaccinated.
Phillips said the base continues to receive Afghan evacuees.
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