Under Pressure, Cuomo Says Ebola Quarantines Can Be Spent at Home

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said that people quarantined in New York who do not show symptoms of the disease would be allowed to remain at home.
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Medical personnel returning from West Africa don't have a problem believing they might have Ebola. They just understand that quarantining people who are asymptomatic serves no legitimate public health purpose and will likely result in positive harm by both feeding public hysteria and making it even more difficult for medical personnel to volunteer to fight the disease where it really is a menace in West Africa.

People without training in public health often think that the obvious response to any dangerous and contagious disease is to set up a quarantine, but it rarely is. They are wrong.

5 2016-12-19 11:40:57 - Chris

The problem is the protocols, which are ridiculous. Surely, staying home for a few weeks and erring on the side of caution is not too much to ask of medical personnel.

Honestly, do you want your blood drawn or a stethoscope placed in your child's mouth by someone who may well have just been exposed to a deadly virus? There has got to be a gray area, albeit a small period of time, when people are just becoming infectious and may not know yet.

0 2016-12-19 05:30:17 - Linda

"The CDC and the NIH employ PhD's in epidemiology and MD's. What do they know?"

Given their track record, not much.

4 2016-12-19 04:09:28 - Mookie

I'm pretty confident I could survive the flu (and I haven't even gotten my shot). Ebola...not so much.

9 2016-12-18 18:42:27 - forspanishpress1

Where do you think they go? They ARE wandering around cities, and suburbs, and rural areas. And there's no outbreak. The only two people who have been infected in the U.S. are the two Dallas nurses who were involved in treating the highly symptomatic patient before the hospital got its procedures down.

1 2016-12-18 17:45:03 - Ann Arbor

I assume that Governor Cuomo, as well as the citizens of New York, are all interested in avoiding the Ebola disease.

It is my belief that you cannot blame politics for every decision made.

0 2016-12-17 20:42:32 - NancyCarey

Supervised house quarantine?

The question is “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?” (Who will guard the guards?”).

2 2016-12-17 15:45:43 - Thom McCann
Classic. Even though NO ONE in the public have been infected, we are still scared so we have to have this policy that will deter doctors from going to Africa to eradicate the virus we are so scared of.

0 2016-12-15 21:24:49 - Kathy in CT

You are suggesting that sacrifice based on irrational fears is somehow good public policy? That experienced medical professionals should somehow be OK with public policy that flies in the face of all that is known about Ebola?

26 2016-12-15 15:45:56 - Hélène

How has the voluntary reporting been shown "not to work" ?

Where has the voluntary reporting led to even ONE case of Ebola transmission? It hasn't, and it won't, because if you would just read a tiny bit you would learn that Ebola can not be spread by asymptomatic carriers.

3 2016-12-14 13:24:17 - Robert
Then why is Dr Spencer's fiancee in quarantine?
4 2016-12-14 01:26:44 - DaveD

The U.S. Constitution, written about a century before the germ theory of disease was discovered, places the responsibility of public health squarely on the shoulders of state and local officials. The federal government's role is purely supportive and advisory. Governors Cuomo and Christie are making reasonable decisions to protect their constituencies, from disease and unnecessary fear, after Dr. Spencer traveled around NYC shortly before he became symptomatic with Ebola. Public health trumps the civil rights of any potential Typhoid Mary.

29 2016-12-12 00:06:47 - Helena

Just what is that message? Don't volunteer to help in the midst of a health emergency that could kill millions or you'll be put in a tent somewhere alone?

1 2016-12-11 18:07:34 - Melvyn Nunes

In his televised address to the nation, President Obama articulated the best counterargument to automatic quarantines: draconian policies like the kind being enforced in New York and New Jersey give incentive for international travelers to lie when they enter the United States. Not only are these policies excessive and harsh, but they are not scientifically sound. There is a reason the CDC has opposed a federal quarantine policy. Who among us wants to tell the truth when confronted with the kind of treatment Kaci Hickox has received? Not only do the new state policies fail to uphold American civil liberties, but they may actually put the country at even greater risk.

250 2016-12-07 21:57:44 - Jesica S

"And when trouble comes up in the world. They don't call Beijing. They don't call Moscow. They call us."--President Obama in reference to the war on Isis.

Why are we relying on volunteers? Should we not be the leaders of another coalition to fight the war on Ebola? Military doctors, nurses, medical corp, pharmacists and health care technicians are the best in the world. Should we not provide the necessary man power (more than 3-4000 military personnel already sent) with proper training to treat those already ill and organized science based quarantines upon return. Can we relieve these incredibly decent and exhausted volunteers from this huge responsibility ?

I just don't see the leadership I would expect on an issue that is escalating into a national concern.

42 2016-12-06 11:23:07 - KH

Sure, great. Next we'll have people dashing to Liberia and Sierra Leone in order to come back and get the $100,000 payout.

0 2016-12-05 19:29:47 - DW

of course the White House wants all bad news to be delayed until November 5th or later

27 2016-12-03 22:02:06 - Shoshanna

They are not risking anyone's life if they are asymptomatic and test negative for Ebola virus. Kaci Hickox is being held for NO legitimate medical reason AT ALL, and her treatment has been shameful. As for the governor, he is clearly thinking with his guts instead of his brain. Or, more likely, this is all political grandstanding.

7 2016-12-03 05:48:10 - Aerin S.

Here is a quote from a top Ebola scientist: "The more I learn right now, the less I know." They're saying "this is a different ebola" than they've ever seen. Search for yourself- not the press; the science.

2 2016-12-02 14:45:22 - Greenpa

These workers should be treated with respect when they return, better than she was/is. However, if she and others are serving for six months in a hotbed of a death virus, shouldn't they plan on serving six months plus 21 days...the last 21 in a comfortable quarantine? Why are they so sure they are helping to prevent the spread if they by accident bring it here, defeating their very purpose of risking their life over there?

I realize that doesn't answer all the quarantine issues, but it sure should with regard to the brave people who work for months over there. People who want to serve for six months wouldn't, I would think, be afraid of a simple but respectful quarantine for the last 21 days of their tour. If that scares them off, then they likely wouldn't be a volunteer in the first place.

26 2016-12-01 14:29:06 - Bruce

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