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CDC Expands International Traveler Testing Program for COVID-19 to Chicago and Miami Airports

Visual Representation | Credits: AP Photo

United States: The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is widening the scope of programs meant to conduct joint health screening for COVID-19 and other infections among travelers from various states. The expansion of the program, which starts at the six Gulf airports, now includes Chicago’s O’Hare and Miami.

Their purpose is to find out incidence of respiratory disease, which has originated from South America, Asia and Africa these zones where global that may be inadequate. The CDC officials, say that the purpose is to have an understanding of risk trends using worldwide data that can be used in the design of a reliable response to future health threats.

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The program has undeniably always been at the forefront of scanning the coronavirus variants accurately and promptly compared to other surveillance systems that were put in place. Even though COVID-19 is a leading priority, testing has not been limited to it: it also contributes to capturing data on other respiratory diseases like flu and RSV.

Through community protection perspectives, volunteers get their noses swabbed voluntarily and answer questions concerning their travel history. They will always be given an opportunity to self-test within their homes using a COVID-19 test kit as per the instructions. However, they will never be directly informed of their results. Since its inception, the variety of samples given by 475,000 air travelers from over 135 different countries is beyond words of description.

Furthermore, health authorities are also scrutinizing sewage samples from international flights at selected airports as one part of their surveillance processes. CDC officials are currently engaging in active surveillance for COVID-19 and are actively exploring whether they can expand it in order to monitor for other pathogens in general.

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The CDC program has a budget of approximately USD 37 million, with two companies, Ginkgo Bioworks and XWell, responsible for sample collection and testing. Plans are underway to broaden the scope of testing to include over 30 different disease-causing agents.

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