Tags: Ebola Outbreak | quarantine | Ebola | West Africa | healthcare workers

WH Weighs Quarantine for Medical Workers Returning from W. Africa

By    |   Friday, 24 Oct 2014 06:33 PM

The White House is considering requiring medical workers who treat Ebola overseas to be quarantined when they come back to the United States, reports say.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention spokesman Tom Skinner told Reuters quarantine is one option being discussed by the Obama administration.

"There are a number of options being discussed pertaining to the monitoring and mobility of healthcare workers who are returning to the United States from affected countries," Skinner told the news service.

"We want to strike the right balance of doing what is best to protect the public’s health while not impeding whatsoever our ability to combat the epidemic in West Africa. Our risk here will not be zero until we stop the epidemic there."

Quarantine was "one of the options on the table," he said.

The Hill reported New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo also said the administration was considering such quarantines.

“It is one of the questions the federal government is thinking through,” Cuomo told Fox affiliate "Good Day New York," The Hill reports.

The CDC-led discussions began after Dr. Craig Spencer became the fourth person diagnosed with the disease in the United States – and the first in New York City.

Last month, Liberian national Thomas Eric Duncan became the first case diagnosed in the United States after arriving in Dallas from his home country, and died Oct 8. Two nurses who helped treat him came down with Ebola, and have now been treated and declared virus-free.

Healthcare workers and military personnel are already required to be monitored for Ebola symptoms during the virus's maximum 21-day incubation period, but there's concern that while being monitored, they're still able to resume normal routines, Reuters noted.

"Whatever option we come up with just simply can't hamper ability to respond to the situation in West Africa," Skinner told the news service. "Because as long as that's going on over there, our risk will never be zero."

At least 4,877 people have died of the disease, predominantly in the West African countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

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The White House is considering requiring medical workers who treat Ebola overseas to be quarantined when they come back to the United States, reports say.
quarantine, Ebola, West Africa, healthcare workers
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2014-33-24
Friday, 24 Oct 2014 06:33 PM
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