National Journal: Is 21 Days Long Enough for Ebola Quarantine?

National Journal: Is 21 Days Long Enough for Ebola Quarantine?

From Brian Resnick writing at the National Journal:

Two to 21 days. If a person is exposed to the Ebola virus, that’s the timeframe in which the symptoms of the disease can manifest. The disease kills about half of those it infects.

That’s the reality for the friends of Thomas Eric Duncan, the first victim of Ebola to die in the United States, who made contact with him before his hospital admission. According to NPR, the family that made contact with Duncan “has been ordered not to leave their home and is banned from hosting any visitors until the 21-day incubation period for Ebola has passed.” So does that mean that on the 22nd day, they are in the clear, completely safe from contracting Ebola?

No. Sadly, it’s isn’t so simple.

“There is no quarantine time that will provide absolute assurance of no residual risk from contagion,” Charles N. Haas, a microbiology threat researcher at Drexel University, writes in arecently published paper in the Journal PLOS Current Outbreaks.

Read the rest of the story at the National Journal.


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