Remember Ebola?

The news was full of reports yesterday on the release of Dr. Craig Spencer from a New York City hospital, thus ending the last active Ebola case in the US.  At the same time, in Maine, nurse Kaci Hickox, having flaunted her quarantine orders and threatening to sue the states of New Jersey and Maine, ended her 21 day isolation.

Both of these people served African victims of this highly contagious disease and that service deserves praise.  However, both decided that they were in a better position to determine if their exposure to this illness was a danger to others than health officials were.  Hickox was right and Spencer was wrong.  Fifty-fifty odds aren’t very good.

Ebola can be spread by contact with infected people and many public health officials (except those in the federal government) want people who have been in the African countries where Ebola is rampant to be quarantined to prevent spreading the disease here.  In Africa, the nation of Rwanda is screening all travelers from America because their nation is Ebola-free and our country is not.  If African nations understand the danger of spreading this disease, why do we not understand it here?

Government officials and the media cite our modern health system as the reason why people coming from infected African countries do not need to be screened.  Meanwhile, travelers are free to come and go from these countries.  Of course, there won’t be a problem in America, right?

AM New York reported on Thursday, November 6, 2014 that the New York City Health Department “is monitoring” 357 people for signs of Ebola.  That is 357 people who have arrived in one city in a three week period who may have been exposed to a deadly disease.  How many other exposed people across the other 3.6 million square miles of this country may have entered the country, if we have this many in one city?  The number of potential Ebola carriers in the US could be enormous!  Yet, our governments will not inconvenience travelers from these countries, at the expense of the other 300 million people here.

Folks, it is common sense to keep these travelers away from the rest of us until we know for sure that they are not ill.  Remember, it is their choice to go to Africa and return here.  They should be willing to accept the inconvenience of isolation as the price of traveling to America.

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2 Comments to “Remember Ebola?”

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