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Ebola in US: New York, New Jersey to quarantine travellers from Ebola-affected countries

Written by Editorial Team |Updated : October 25, 2014 12:42 PM IST

With Ebola spreading to other countries as well, government is taking serious measures to control the outbreak from spreading. Even medical and healthcare professionals are screened. Keeping this in mind, medical personnel arriving at New York City airports from Ebola-stricken nations in West Africa will be placed in mandatory quarantine for 21 days, the governors of New York and New Jersey announced.

The move comes a day after a New York physician, who recently returned to the US after treating Ebola patients in Guinea was diagnosed with the virus. Besides health workers, the mandatory quarantine will apply to any traveller, who had contact with Ebola patients in West Africa.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said they decided to impose the requirement after concluding that the prevention protocols recommended by the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) were inadequate for the New York City metropolitan area.

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The governors jointly oversee the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which runs the region's airports.

'We've agreed that quarantine is the right way to go,' Christie said.

'We were operating under the CDC guidelines, which we assumed were appropriate guidelines,' said Cuomo at a joint press conference with his New Jersey colleague.

'I think we've learned that we need to go further than the guidelines, that's our basic point,' he added.

Cuomo also criticised Craig Spencer, the 33-year-old New Yorker diagnosed Thursday with Ebola.

Spencer, a Doctors Without Borders volunteer, had recently returned from Guinea, where he treated people suffering from the Ebola virus, which has killed around 4,500 people in West Africa.

'He's a doctor and even he didn't follow the guidelines for the quarantine, let's be honest,' Cuomo said of Spencer, who rode on the subway before being diagnosed with Ebola.

'It's too serious a situation to leave it to the honour system of compliance,' the New York governor said.

CDC guidelines call for taking one's temperature twice a day. According to New York state health officials, this was something Spencer had done.

Early symptoms of Ebola

Fever: Increase in body temperature is the first defence mechanism that the body uses to kill any foreign particle invading the body. When Ebola infects the body, it causes a release of various compounds like cytokines and histamines that pass on the signals of increasing body temperature. In fact, Ebola virus disease is also called the Ebola haemorrhagic fever, where the temperature can go above 38.6 C or 101.5 F. (Read: What is the Ebola virus disease survival rate?)

Headache: It is the most common symptom of Ebola infection after fever, present in almost 96 percent of the cases. Nausea and headache along with fever present a typical case of common cold and flu. At this stage, the symptoms can be confused with other common infections. (Read: Ebola virus causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, prognosis and prevention)

Stomach pain: A few viral particles invade the liver and starts destroying the hepatocytes. New virions start damaging the intestinal cells causing abdominal pain.

With inputs from IANS

Photo source: Getty images


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