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Canada Halts Visas for Ebola Countries in West Africa

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Image: Coast Guard Corpsman checks the temperature of a traveler at Washington Dulles International Airport
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 at Washington Dulles International Airport on Oct. 16. Josh Denmark / U.S. CBP via Reuters file

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Canada on Friday stopped issuing visas to people from the West African countries at the heart of the Ebola outbreak.

Immigration authorities said they made the decision because "the introduction or spread of the disease would pose an imminent and severe risk to public health in Canada."

The ban applies to worker, student and visitor visas for people who have been in a country with widespread Ebola transmission in the past three months. Applications in the pipeline will not be processed. Australia took a similar step earlier this week.

Some lawmakers in the United States have called for a travel ban for Ebola countries. Public health officials have said that it could be circumvented, and that it would hamper the fight against Ebola, in part by keeping doctors and nurses out of the hot zone.

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