Updated 11:58 PM EST, Fri, Jan 22, 2021

Ebola Outbreak 2014 News Update, Watchlist & Death Toll: 21-Day Quarantine Lifted

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Several U.S. states such as New York, New Jersey and Illinois have enforced mandatory quarantine orders among health workers returning from Ebola-stricken countries. However, such action has been condemned, according to BBC, and federal health officials have officially announced updated quarantine guidelines on Monday.

Governors Andrew Cuomo (New York) and Chris Christie (New Jersey) remain firm in their decision to implement their earlier imposed protocols, with a few clarifications, the Associated Press reported.

"New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said such quarantines in medical facilities would only be used in some cases, such as if the health care workers were from states other than New York or New Jersey. For workers under home confinement, family members will be allowed to stay, and friends may visit with the approval of health officials. Workers displaying any symptoms will go straight to the hospital," AP wrote.

For Cuomo and Christie, the new guidelines set by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) do not provide enough protection for the citizens of their respective states, the New York Tmes added.

Christie was quoted as saying, "What people of this country want is for us to protect, first and foremost, the public safety and public health of our citizens."

"I work with the federal government, but I disagree with the C.D.C. My No. 1 job is to protect the people of the state of New York, and do what I think is prudent to protect the people of the state of New York," Cuomo reportedly said.

Previously, the two governors released a joint statement to explain their steps to prevent the disease from spreading in their respective states after Dr. Craig Spencer, the first Ebola patient of New York, tested positive for Ebola.

New York has since provided a "Fact Sheet on State Screening Protocols at JFK International Airport" and it can be found here.

Meanwhile, Illinois' mandatory quarantine policy would take place at the subject's home, officials clarified via The State.

Preventive measures

New York Times reported that the updated guidelines were developed at the White House by President Barack Obama, CDC officials and other unnamed individuals. The obligatory confinement of returning nurse Kaci Hickox at the University Hospital in Newark prompted officials to rethink of ways to prevent viral transmission without compromising human rights.

Hickox complained via CNN, "This is an extreme that is really unacceptable, and I feel like my basic human rights have been violated." She returned from Sierra Leone after rendering help against the outbreak.

"To quarantine someone without a better plan in place, without more forethought, is just preposterous," she added.

Hickox arrived at the Newark International Airport on Friday, where she was immediately held for examinations. She tested negative on Saturday. She is headed back to her Maine hometown to serve the remainder of her 21-day quarantine, wrote ABC News.

CDC's new guidelines categorized subjects in four strata. We have simplified them below:

1. High Risk -- individuals who acquired needle-stick injuries or mucous membrane exposure to bodily fluids of a symptomatic Ebola host; exposure and/or processing of such fluids without appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE); living and giving care to a symptomatic Ebola host in the same household; having direct contact with a dead body in an Ebola-stricken country

2. Some Risk -- having direct contact with a symptomatic Ebola host in a stricken country with appropriate PPE; having close contact of 3 feet (1 meter) with a symptomatic Ebola host without appropriate PPE

3. Low Risk -- having been in a stricken country for the last 21 days without noted exposure; having a brief direct contact with an early-stage Ebola host without appropriate PPE; being near (briefly) with a symptomatic Ebola host; having direct contact with a symptomatic Ebola host in a non-Ebola stricken country with appropriate PPE; having traveled by plane with a symptomatic Ebola host

4. No Risk -- having contact with an asymptomatic person who made contact with an Ebola host; contact with a person prior to developing symptoms; being in an Ebola-stricken country 21 days prior to outbreak; not being in an Ebola-stricken country and not having any possible exposure

Meanwhile, the 5-year-old boy confined at Bellevue for exhibiting Ebola symptoms was confirmed negative on Monday, wrote Wall Street Journal.

To date, the deadly West African virus has killed nearly 5,000 people, majority of which are from Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

See the complete, updated guidelines from the CDC here.

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