WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States will begin enhanced Ebola screening on Monday for travelers whose trips started in the African nation of Mali, the government said on Sunday.

Mali has been added to the list of countries whose travelers face heightened screening because there have been a number of confirmed cases of Ebola there in recent days, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Homeland Security said in a statement.

"A large number of individuals may have been exposed to those cases," it said. There are no direct flights to the United States from Mali, but an average of 15 to 20 travelers a day start their trips there, the statement said.

The decision comes as a surgeon from Sierra Leone is being treated for Ebola in a Nebraska hospital. Medical officials said on Saturday he was critically ill after being airlifted from Africa.

Mali joins Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia on the list of countries whose travelers face enhanced entry screening, health and Ebola assessments in the United States.



(Reporting by Ian Simpson; Editing by Peter Cooney)