Tags: Barack Obama | Ebola Outbreak | Emerging Threats | ebola | west africa | troops | quarantine

Joint Chiefs Favor 21-Day Quarantine for Troops in Ebola Countries

By    |   Wednesday, 29 October 2014 06:41 AM

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel is expected to accept a recommendation by Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to quarantine for 21 days all U.S. troops returning from Ebola-stricken countries, The New York Times reported.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now advising that civilian health workers coming back from Africa after helping Ebola patients be actively monitored for symptoms, though not quarantined. In contrast to the civilians, the soldiers, who are not likely to come into direct contact with infected patients, will be quarantined, the Times reported.

An unofficial "controlled monitoring" period of 21 days for soldiers returning from Liberia is already in place on the orders of Gen. Ray Odierno, the Army chief of staff.

Maj. Gen. Darryl Williams, who headed an advance team in Liberia and has rotated out, is being isolated, together with a dozen of his troops, at an Army base in Italy. He said morale was high and that as more of his troops came out of Africa they would also go into quarantine at the base, CNN reported.

The White House has tried to show that its approach to the crisis is coherent.

President Barack Obama said that it was "sensible, based in science" for the civilian medical workers not to face quarantines so that volunteers would not be discouraged from heading to Africa. "They are doing God's work," Obama said Tuesday, the Times reported.

Since the soldiers deployed to Africa will be coming from various military installations worldwide, it is efficient to restrict their movements when they complete their assignment, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said.

"By definition," since they are in the military and not civilian volunteers, "we don't expect them to have similar rules," Obama said.

Four individuals have tested positive for Ebola in the United States. Amber Joy Vinson, the nurse who treated Thomas Eric Duncan — the Liberian man who died Oct. 8 of the disease — was discharged Tuesday from a hospital in Atlanta.

Another infected nurse, Nina Pham, was released last week.

Craig Spencer, the doctor who became infected after treating patients in Africa, remains in isolation at New York City's Bellevue Hospital, CBS New York reported.

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Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel is expected to accept a recommendation by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to quarantine for 21 days all U.S. troops returning from Ebola-stricken countries, The New York Times reported.
ebola, west africa, troops, quarantine
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2014-41-29
Wednesday, 29 October 2014 06:41 AM
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