New York, New Jersey and Connecticut instituted Involuntary 21-day quarantines Friday
on health-care workers returning from West Africa, stoking a debate over how to prevent the spread of Ebola without impeding humanitarian aid to the stricken region.
The move, which followed Thursday’s diagnosis of Ebola in a New York City doctor who came home recently from Guinea, was put into effect immediately
: a health-care worker returning from West Africa on Friday was stopped at Newark Liberty International Airport and put under quarantine order, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said. The unidentified woman, who worked with Doctors Without Borders and had treated Ebola patients in Africa, had no symptoms when she arrived, but later developed a fever,
officials said. She was placed in isolation at Newark’s University Hospital, the New Jersey medical center designated as a treatment facility for potential Ebola patients.
The states’ quarantines mark a more aggressive tack than the Obama administration
, which said Friday it was reviewing Ebola quarantine protocols while also reassuring the public that the risk of contracting the virus was still extremely low.
A senior administration official said that prior to the states’ announcement, the administration had been looking carefully at policies pertaining to the return of health-care workers from West Africa. “In determining the right approach, we have put the health and safety of Americans first and foremost, and our deliberations have been informed by our most knowledgeable and experienced public health and Homeland Security professionals,” the official said. The administration won’t hesitate to take action that has the potential to fortify the U.S. against additional Ebola cases, the official said
. “At the same time, we must do so in a manner that is coordinated and that minimizes any unintended consequences, including those that would hinder our ability to eliminate this threat at its source in West Africa,” the official said.
Some lawmakers, meanwhile, called for such a mandatory quarantine and also for more clearly defined protocols for military personnel returning from Ebola-stricken countries...