Updated 10:11 PM EST, Fri, Nov 26, 2021

Ebola Virus 2014 Outbreak News Update: Mandatory Quarantine Not Recommended for Health Workers, Says Fauci

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A top health official says that mandatory quarantines for health workers who volunteered in treating Ebola victims in West Africa won't help in putting a stop to the spread of the disease.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said that he would not have recommended the mandatory quarantines because they discourage volunteers, ABC News reported.

According to Business Insider, the policy was put into effect by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie after Dr. Craig Spencer returned to New York from Guinea and was diagnosed with Ebola.

The 21-day quarantine is instituted for health care workers who have had direct contact with those who have Ebola virus in West Africa. Business Insider also adds that Illinois has also issued mandatory quarantine for those passing through Chicago O'Hare Airport.

Fauci told ABC News that a mandatory quarantine is unnecessary, and that active self-monitoring can be just as effective, as those people infected with Ebola are not contagious until they began showing symptoms of the disease.

"As a scientist and as a health person, if I were asked I would not have recommended that," Fauci stated. "The scientific evidence is what needs to drive us. We appreciate the fears of the American people, but you don't want to have policy that would have negative unintended consequences," the doctor added as cited by ABC News.

Fauci believes that quarantine restrictions may cause health workers to stop volunteering help in West Africa because it will put them in very uncomfortable positions. With the Ebola-stricken country needing medical assistance now, more than ever, the scenario won't be a pleasant one.

"There are different levels of risk to a health care worker, and that there are different levels of monitoring. If you put everyone in one basket, even people who are clearly no threat, then we have the problem of the disincentive of people that we need," Fauci told ABC News.

According to ABC News, Fauci believes that protecting and safeguarding America from the disease would only happen if Ebola would be stopped first in Africa.

"If we don't have our people volunteering to go over there, then you're going to have other countries that are not going to do it and then the epidemic will continue to roar," Fauci said as reported on TIME.

Business Insider reported that Christie was quick to defend the state's quarantine policy, saying that he respects Fauci but the voluntary system that the doctor suggests may result to people not complying.

"I don't believe that when you're dealing with something as serious as this that we can count on a voluntary system. If anything else, the government's job is to protect the safety and health of our citizens. And so, we've taken this action and I absolutely have no second thoughts about it," Christie said as cited by Business Insider.

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