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Health Highlights, Nov. 19, 2020

By HealthDay Reporter

Below are newsworthy items compiled by the Healthday staff:

U.S. Economy's Greenhouse Gas Emissions Lower Due to Pandemic

The U.S. economy will produce 9.2% fewer greenhouse gas emissions this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new study.

The 5.9 million tons of emissions expected to be produced by the economy is about the same amount as in 1983, according to the private research organization, BloombergNEF, the Washington Post reported.

However, the nation's net emissions are expected to increase 6.4% due to the forest fires that raged across the West Coast and Rocky Mountains earlier this year.

The carbon dioxide and other pollution released into the air by those fires will offset much of the decrease in U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, the Post reported.

Ebola Outbreak in Democratic Republic of the Congo Declared Over

The Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is over, health officials say.

Wednesday marks 42 days, or two incubation periods, since the last survivor tested negative for the virus, so the DRC Ministry of Health and World Health Organization officially announced the end of the outbreak, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"This is a tremendous accomplishment, particularly in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic," CDC Director Robert Redfield said in an agency news release. "CDC congratulates the DRC Ministry of Health and partners who have worked tirelessly to overcome challenges and bring this Ebola outbreak to an end."

While this is a significant achievement, efforts to quickly detect new cases of Ebola must continue for at least six months, the CDC noted.

Two Major Airlines Offer Voluntary COVID-19 Testing for Passengers

British Airways and American Airlines are teaming up to offer voluntary COVID-19 testing for passengers flying to London's Heathrow Airport from New York, Los Angeles and Dallas.

The pilot program, which will start Nov. 25, is meant to convince the British government to repeal rules requiring most international travelers to quarantine for 14 days, the Associated Press reported.

Passenger tests will be done 72 hours before departure, on arrival at Heathrow and three days after arrival.

The objective is to prove that a single test 72 hours before takeoff is enough to ensure travelers aren't carrying COVID-19, according to British Airways, the AP reported.

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