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Measles cases prompt DOD to suspend Afghan evacuee flights into U.S.

Pentagon spokesman says five cases discovered so far, including one at Ft. Pickett in Virginia.

WASHINGTON — There's now a temporary halt on all incoming flights of Afghan evacuees coming into the U.S., because of a small outbreak of an infectious disease.

But it's not COVID-19.

It's the measles.

Defense Department spokesman John Kirby said the Department of Defense (DoD) has diagnosed five active cases of measles among Afghanistan refugees entering the United States.

One of the cases was discovered in an Afghan evacuee who is being temporarily housed and awaiting resettlement at Fort Pickett, in Blackstone, Virginia.

"We've paused the flights coming in," said Kirby. "We're observing all CDC guidelines that need tot be observed. And we're working very quickly on the appropriate immunizations. We're taking it very seriously."

The measles' patients quarantined away from the other Afghan evacuees, and the military is doing contact tracing of the affected individuals.

Kirby said the incoming "Operation Allies" flights are suspended for at least the next seven days, at the request of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).