New York, New Jersey and Illinois had announced mandatory quarantines for people coming from West Africa. Following criticism from health professionals, the guidelines were slightly modified. The new guidelines loosened some of the restrictions and it was announced that health-workers coming from Ebola hit nations would be quarantined at home and also compensated for the days they miss work. The discomfort over the quarantine guidelines actually raises the question among general population about exactly quarantine entails.
What is quarantine?
There is a difference between quarantine and isolation. Isolation is separation of infected people from those who are not sick. On the other hand, quarantine separates and restricts movement of people who are exposed to the contagious disease, not necessarily infected. A quarantine is basically done to identify if the person exposed to infection becomes sick.
As explained in the video, the first Ebola case in U.S., Thomas Duncan was kept in isolation in the Dallas hospital while his family members and friends were kept in quarantine. They were not legally allowed to leave their apartment and their area was monitored so that nobody else could have entered while they were quarantined.
The discomfort over quarantine of health workers coming from Ebola-hit nations was expressed because according to officials, the 21-day quarantines could have had ‘unintended consequence’ of discouraging health care workers from volunteering, particularly in the West African countries.
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Published: October 28, 2014 12:35 pm | Updated:December 29, 2014 6:31 pm