Top NIH Ebola Specialist Says Quarantines Will Jeopardize Americans

Top NIH Ebola Specialist Says Quarantines Will Jeopardize Americans – http://huff.to/1tbds3R

We need to make distinctions with this emotional issue.

One is that, while a medical expert’s expertise in his area should be given the utmost respect, that does not qualify him for universal expertise in everything including sociological predictions.

Also, the idea that health workers will be deterred is a hypothesis. 

Key question, who will be deterred.  Who is planning to go that is not already there.

And, is the possibility of a 21 day quarantine on return, which does have a reason, a greater deterrent than significant risk of death or serious harm.  Nearly 500 health workers have been infected overall and half of those have died, despite presumably taking reasonable precautions.

Only quarantining people after we are certain they have become contagious is playing with fire.

This strain seems to be more communicable and as yet we don’t know why.  Given the stakes, until we know the answer to that, assumptions based on past outbreaks should be viewed with caution.

To the extent that people that want to help are already in the field, a quarantine period is actually an incentive to stay there. 

Difficult problems can’t be solved with bumper sticker slogans.

If this gets into US slums where many people still don’t have health care insurance, it could be a major problem.

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