The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Tuesday announced updates to quarantine regulations in order to better prepare for possible outbreaks of infectious diseases such as bird flu.
The stricter regulations were proposed at a time when global concerns are increasing about a potential outbreak of a bird flu pandemic as the bird flu virus strain is feared to mutate to become easily transmissible among humans quickly.
This is the first substantial overhaul of federal quarantine rules in at least 25 years, officials said.
The rules focus on early discovery and control of infectious diseases that may result from international transportation and interstate movement.
The rules include expanding the definition of ill passengers, allowing the CDC easier access to airline and ship passenger lists, and facilitating the CDC ability to offer vaccinations and medical treatment to quarantined people.
The changes are part of the CDC efforts to enhance its capacity to protect Americans from infectious agent from abroad. In the past 18 months, the CDC has set up 10 new quarantine stations at airports, ship ports and land-border crossings. It originally had only eight.
The proposed regulations are open for public comment for two months as of Nov. 30.