Ebola

Ebola Quarantines Ignore Experience and Trample Freedom

When did it become a badge of toughness to succumb to irrational panic?

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Christie
Gage Skidmore / Flickr

I am a faithful and loving husband to a wonderful woman, and I do not make a practice of hugging women I don't know. But if I had the chance, I wouldn't hesitate to embrace Kaci Hickox.

She apparently would be willing. In denouncing the quarantine imposed on her by the government of Maine—which she defied the other day by going on a bike ride with her boyfriend—the 33-year-old nurse said, "You could hug me. You could shake my hand. I would not give you Ebola."

That's accurate, from all available evidence, since she has never had any symptoms of the disease. A hug from her would be more likely to break my ribs than give me a deadly virus.

Returning from a month in Sierra Leone working for Doctors Without Borders, Hickox was stopped at the Newark airport. After a forehead scanner indicated a fever—which she attributed to being flushed from distress at being detained for hours with no explanation—an oral thermometer registered 98.6 degrees. She didn't have a fever before or since. Still, she was placed in an isolation tent in a hospital for three days before being flown to her home in Maine.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, only Ebola victims showing symptoms can pass the virus to others. But some officials couldn't care less about such details. Three governors have issued quarantine mandates for any medical worker who has had contact with Ebola patients—Chris Christie of New Jersey, Andrew Cuomo of New York and Pat Quinn of Illinois. A Maine court ordered Hickox not to leave town and to stay at least three feet away from others—only to lift the order the following day.

Christie went out of his way to patronize this woman who risked her life to save patients on the other side of the world. "When she has time to reflect, she'll understand," he predicted.

Given time and reflection, maybe the rest of us will understand just how ridiculous he and others are for inflicting needless burdens on people who pose no discernible danger. When did it become a badge of toughness to succumb to irrational panic?

The hardliners act as though we have no experience with infectious disease and therefore have to take any steps that could conceivably block it. In fact, the CDC has been dealing competently with illnesses like this for a long time.

Back in 2002 and 2003, a virus called Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) infected more than 8,000 people, mostly in Asia, and killed 774. Even though it could be spread through the air, had a high mortality rate and infected 27 people in the United States, the CDC didn't recommend mandatory quarantines. So it makes sense that the agency would not advise that approach for Ebola, which is much harder to contract.

There is an assumption that health care workers returning from Ebola zones are too irresponsible to avoid infecting others. But groups that work in these areas know better than anyone how to avoid getting or giving the disease.

Ebola has been around since 1976, and Doctors Without Borders (which goes by the French acronym MSF) has a lot of experience on the front lines. Until this year's outbreak, the biggest ever, it had never had an international staff member infected. Only three have contracted the virus this time. None has spread it to other people.

Nor is any likely to. Upon coming home, the group says, staffers are required to "check their temperature two times per day; finish their regular course of malaria prophylaxis, since malaria symptoms can mimic Ebola symptoms; be aware of relevant symptoms, such as fever; stay within four hours of a hospital with isolation facilities; and immediately contact the MSF-USA office if any relevant symptoms develop."

Why should we trust these doctors and nurses to follow this strict regime? First, because they wouldn't survive treating Ebola if they were sloppy. Second, because professionals who have made great sacrifices to fight the disease are not likely to knowingly put others in danger. Third, because they are acutely aware of the symptoms of Ebola and have every reason to get immediate care if they appear.

Hickox, however, is at the mercy of public officials who are eager to trample on her freedom in deference to unwarranted hysteria. In going to Africa to treat Ebola patients, she showed admirable courage. Too bad it's not contagious.

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  1. More Ebola. MORE EBOLA. MORE EBOLA!

    1. “I am a faithful and loving husband to a wonderful woman, and I do not make a practice of hugging women I don’t know. But if I had the chance, I wouldn’t hesitate to embrace Kaci Hickox.”

      Would you still hug Kaci Hickox if there were even a 1% chance that you’d pass on a disease that would kill your wife, Steve? Over 200 health care workers have died from Ebola since June of this year. They’re not infallible.

  2. What do the millennials think about ebola?

    1. dunno, but Gen Xers are singing ‘Ebola Gay’ to themselves

      1. Boooo! Boooooooo!

        I already had that earworm on Friday, and I’m not about to have it again.

  3. Until this year’s outbreak, the biggest ever, it had never had an international staff member infected.

    Sure, bad things never happen, until they do.

    Why should we trust these doctors and nurses to follow this strict regime? First, because they wouldn’t survive treating Ebola if they were sloppy. Second, because professionals who have made great sacrifices to fight the disease are not likely to knowingly put others in danger. Third, because they are acutely aware of the symptoms of Ebola and have every reason to get immediate care if they appear.

    Top. Men.

    1. Why should we trust these doctors and nurses to follow this strict regime? First, because they wouldn’t survive treating Ebola if they were sloppy.

      Something like 100 European hundred doctors and nurses have caught Ebola

      Second, because professionals who have made great sacrifices to fight the disease are not likely to knowingly put others in danger.

      Uh huh, like the doctor in NY that lied about his public whereabouts after realizing that he had Ebola or the MN nurse that caused this brouhaha by saying “fuck you I’m not going to avoid public contact with people.

  4. Let’s go ahead and set the over/under on comments at 413.

    *gets popcorn*

    1. If it were a weekend, I might take the over, but with Mourning Lynx coming up at 9:00 AM, there’s no way this thread is getting close to 413.

      1. tru dat, shoulda checked the clock before popping off with that one.
        …Plus John’s probably not awake yet

        1. You’re lucky I didn’t have my coffee cup in hand when I read your comment!

  5. Hickox seems like a real piece of work. She’s not wrong she’s just an asshole.

    1. when your in a spat with Christie I would think that would be a plus.He’s bully that should never have any power.

    2. Right. I think a lot of people are looking to avoid what that other asshole Dr. Craig Spencer did, “self quarantine”. He started feeling kind of crappy on Monday, but skipped around town until Wednesday morning (causing a little panic when the public realized he had Ebola).

      Then there was that NBC medical correspondent Dr. who went into quarantine, and then popped out for take out dinners. Again, not much of a threat even if she was sick, but how hard is it to get delivery or ask a friend to deliver?

      I wish they could understand that not everyone knows as much about the disease as them. Go ahead and tell everyone that it is ok and there isn’t much to worry about, but don’t try to prove it by scaring people.

    3. Christie and Cuomo aren’t assholes?

      1. Now let’s not put words in my mouth as I didn’t think anybody has to be told that the sitting gov. for new jersey and new your are assholes.

        1. Fair enough.

    4. “That would make medical errors the third-leading cause of death in America, behind heart disease, which is the first, and cancer, which is second.”

      http://www.npr.org/blogs/healt…..-hospitals

      Hickox is wrong, and she’s an asshole. She knows she has the potential to be infected; she just doesn’t give a fuck.

  6. Here’s an idea for Ebola quarantines – treat them as a taking, ie, pay people you want quarantined to agree to be quarantined.

    1. That’s not a bad idea. It’s pretty parallel to eminent domain for a real public use. You can’t just take people’s property without compensation if they haven’t done anything wrong, maybe you shouldn’t be able to take their time either.

    2. I can get on board with this. The problem, of course, is deciding how much their time in worth. Do you base it on recent wages or do you give them a fixed amount per hour like jury duty? After all, the CEO of a large company has more valuable time than a schizophrenic bum.

      1. Valuable to whom? Judging from the piddly little amount I once got for jury duty, my time wasn’t nearly as valuable to the county as it was to me.

        1. Jury pay is pathetic. They should pay at least your normal salary so you don’t just end up with old people and losers with nothing better to do on juries.

      2. My understanding was she was getting her regular pay, while staying home in her self-imposed semi-quarantine.
        She just wanted her 15 minutes of infamy, probably put up to it by Oblamo, since she is now trying his patented apology shtick.

    3. sorry we spent that money on a Czar

      1. And where is the guy? Somebody check his fox hole; I think he died in there.

  7. Here’s a better idea, people who have been exposed to the virus are free to go wherever they want as long as they carry enough insurance.

    Enough insurance to cover the care and lost wages of anyone infected, and appropriate payment to the families if they don’t recover. Insurance companies are good at calculating probabilities and consequences. Better than nurses.

    Otherwise, stay home.

    1. Insurance companies are good at calculating probabilities and consequences. Better than nurses.

      But Vegas bookies are even better. Why not have people possibly infected with Ebola wander around Vegas while we watch in an OTB place and bet on the amount of infections? They could wear jerseys and sell ad space on them to sponsors…like the World Series of Poker.

      1. “But Vegas bookies are even better.”

        The bookies don’t set the odds; they just count the bets and publish the results.
        ‘Wisdom of the crowd’ and all that.

    2. “Here’s a better idea, people who have been exposed to the virus are free to go wherever they want as long as they carry enough insurance.”

      Insurance isn’t going to bring me or my family back to life. That’s like saying as long as they’ve got good insurance, they should be able to drive through a school zone in a drunken stupor. I’ve got a better idea: If someone knowingly infect me or my family, I’m going to expend my last breath to hunt them down and shoot them in the fucking face. If they’re OK with that outcome, then by all means, go for that bike ride or ride that subway.

  8. Back in 2002 and 2003, a virus called Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) infected more than 8,000 people, mostly in Asia, and killed 774. Even though it could be spread through the air, had a high mortality rate and infected 27 people in the United States, the CDC didn’t recommend mandatory quarantines. So it makes sense that the agency would not advise that approach for Ebola, which is much harder to contract

    Well, yes, a 9.6% fatality rate is ‘high’ as modern diseases go, but a 70.8% fatality rate is catastrophic. Also, we only have the hospital counts on number of cases. Reports from the ground in Sierra Lione indicate that there are upto 2.5x as many unreported cases (and associated fatalities) in the countryside with recent indications of now-empty villages as a result of the virus. In densely populated Hong Kong, SARS only managed to get 8,000 people sick. In sparsely populated West Africa, we have 10,000 confirmed cases and anywhere up to 25,000 unreported cases – with associated fatalities.

    Your comparison is missing an order of magnitude in threat. It would also appear that Ebola is easier to contract that you assume.

    1. Also, SARS is innately less horrific an ailment. While death from respiratory failure is not a pleasant way to go, compare that with the victim of hemmoragic fever who has by that point been weeping blood from every hole in their body as their insides slowly liquefy.

      When a SARS victim dies, generally you will only need gloves to properly dispose of the body, as they’ve stopped being contagious. With Ebola, you need full hazmat gear and you have to destroy everything they bled on, sneezed on, cried on or sweated on because all of them can infect new victims – without being visibly infectious.

      Tell me, how is Ebola hard to catch?

      Just because we’ve been lucky doesn’t mean there isn’t a threat.

      1. Quite frankly, the wanton disregard for the lives of people in this country by those who should know better – the returning medical personnel themselves – is shocking. They have seen what this disease does firsthand, and should be aware of the incubation period. The fact that their inconvenience for three weeks ranks higher in their minds than the possibility that they could be condeming their fellows to death by hemmoraggic fever makes me ever more strongly in favor or precautionary quarantines since self-quarantining failed.

      2. When a SARS victim dies, generally you will only need gloves to properly dispose of the body, as they’ve stopped being contagious.

        That’s not particularly true. If it were, then people wouldn’t have gotten infected from the similar Bird Flu by handling infected poultry.

  9. Huh. Even Steve “Precautionary Principle” Chapman can’t work himself into a tizzy over a quarantine?

  10. Isn’t this the same Reason magazine which loves vaccines and thinks that people should take every vaccine that the government mandates to keep the “herd” healthy?

    1. Are you an anti-vaxer, perchance?

      1. No. I am however doubtful of the ‘top men” in government and their ever lengthening mandated vaccine list.

        1. Vaccines are only “mandated” for children entering public school and green card applicants, and even then, kids can be exempted easily based on religious or philosophical beliefs.

          Vaccines are compulsory, as so many things are, in the military or in Federal prison, of course.

          So unless you’re a kid in public school, an immigrant, a solider, or a felon the government isn’t mandating anything.

          If we’re going to argue for personal responsibility and individual liberty, it’s important to get the facts straight. Indeed, wouldn’t you say fluoridation is a more egregious breech of liberty? (Though anti-fluoride is even more loony than anti-vax, it must be said.)

          1. “””So unless you’re a kid in public school, an immigrant, a solider, or a felon the government isn’t mandating anything.”””

            So except for 90 percent of the population there is no mandate.

            While far less then 1 percent of the population is being quarantined

          2. Though anti-fluoride is even more loony than anti-vax, it must be said

            Well, to be honest, fluoride IS pretty fucking toxic.

            **Adjusts tinfoil hat**

            1. So’s water.

          3. The exemption options for children vary dramatically by state, and are becoming a moving target (take a look at the ACA opt-out language to see where we are heading).

            The long arm of the government often impacts home-schoolers/private schools/other child programs as well.

      2. Questioning the sense of mandatory vacination does not make one anti-vaccination. There is an odd dissonance for Reason’s editorial positions to be mildly pro-mandatory vaccination and vehemently against precautionary quarantines. Forcing someone to risk their health for the greater good is just as much if not more of an imposition on their liberty than limiting their activities for a specified period of time.

        1. Questioning the sense of mandatory vacination does not make one anti-vaccination.

          I never said it necessarily did. I wanted to be clear if DJF’s position was from a (misguided) belief that vaccinations don’t work/cause autism, etc. or from a sense of imposition of individual liberty. And again, we need to be clear about the difference between mandated and compulsory.

          There is an odd dissonance for Reason’s editorial positions to be mildly pro-mandatory vaccination and vehemently against precautionary quarantines.

          I find it odd that regular readers of Reason haven’t picked up on the fact that they have very few “editorial positions” that are shared across the board. For fuck’s sake, they carry Richman’s anti-Israeli screeds right next to Harsyani’s paeans to the same state. It’s true that Ron Bailey argued for mandatory vax; however, I see no evidence that that position is shared universally amongst the Reason writers. Has Chapman made public his view on mandatory/compulsory vax?

          1. I thought the Reason platform was Mexicans, ass sex, and pot. Everything else is up for grabs.

          2. I find it odd that regular readers of Reason haven’t picked up on the fact that they have very few “editorial positions” that are shared across the board.

            Yes, it is rather odd that people who read this site every day still assume that every syndicated column and blog post they publish is representative of some unified editorial position.

            Bailey may be mildly pro-mandatory-vaccine for some things, but I have no idea what any of the other editors think.

          3. I don’t recall seeing any rebuttal to Bailey’s multiple articles advocating compulsary vaccination while there has been a blitz of articles condemning quarantine. I think it safe to assume the writer’s attitudes about both until proven otherwise.

            1. I don’t recall even Bailey being all in for legally required vaccinations, just saying that people who don’t vaccinate for bad reasons are jerks. I may not be recalling everything.

    2. Well that was enlightening.

    3. Um, I think they like vaccines because they are a good idea, not because government mandates them.
      Herd immunity really is a thing, whether or not you think the government has any legitimate interest or power there.

      1. I agree that vaccines are a “good idea” but am opposed to mandatory vaccinations and would appreciate a more educated dialogue. The tendency is to group “vaccinations” as a single entity rather than discuss the pro’s/con’s of each individual vaccine.

        As a scientist, I become extremely concerned when “new” vaccines are added to the mandatory list.

        1. Oh, sure. I think it is pretty obvious that mostly getting rid of certain once common diseases has been a great thing. But the net benefits of others might not be as certain.

  11. Um, an infected nurse hopped on a plane before this, remember?

    Not all doctors and nurses are that responsible.

    1. Shhh! There a fucking narrative here and we don’t want to confuse people with contradictory facts.

    2. She hopped on the plane after the CDC said she could. If anything, it’s the reliance on the say-so of Top Men that is more dangerous.

      1. She had no symptoms at the time, right? So she wasn’t contagious. No harm done.

        1. “She had no symptoms at the time, right? So she wasn’t contagious. No harm done.”

          She did have symptoms.

          “Before the Monday flight, Vinson, who had been self-monitoring and was reporting her temperature to epidemiology teams routinely, had called someone at the CDC to report that she had an elevated temperature of 99.5, the spokesperson said.

          Vinson was then considered in the category of “uncertain risk”, which is a lower level, because it was believed that she had all worn all the necessary personal protective equipment while treating Duncan.

          The category for “uncertain risk” had guidance saying that a person could fly commercially if they did not meet the threshold of a temperature of 100.4.

          http://www.nbcnews.com/storyli…..ce-n226961

    3. Not all doctors and nurses are that responsible.

      See hospital-transmitted antibiotic-resistant infection mortality for example.

  12. “But groups that work in these areas know better than anyone how to avoid getting or giving the disease.”

    Around the globe, about 400 health care staff have contracted Ebola, and more than 230 have died since June of 2014. Those were people who took every known precaution and yet still contracted the disease, either because they made mistakes, or because ebola is much more contagious than we’re being lead to believe.

    1. Or. The virus has mutated / evolved since it was discover in 1976. They will do that.

      1. To change its entire mode of transmission that quickly, a virus essentially has to hit the mutation lottery. The only suspected (none have been proven) airborne transmissions of the disease have been between pigs and non-human primates of the Reston strain, with no subsequent transmission among the primates. Some workers were seen to have developed antibodies, but never became sick.

        All but one of these instances of “airborne transmission” were in a laboratory setting, which likely had a significant effect on the observations.

        1. Actually, the pig-to-monkey transmissions WERE proven, but subsequent intra-species transmission did not happen.

        2. “To change its entire mode of transmission that quickly,”

          The virus wouldn’t need to change its entire mode of transmission, just to become more infectious. It might just have evolved to survive longer outside of the human body in spittle and other bodily fluids.

          If the previous strains of Ebola could only survive for a few hours, but the current version can survive for a few days, that might make a dramatic impact on the overall infection rate.

          For reference:

          ” Limited laboratory studies under favorable conditions indicate that Ebola virus can remain viable on solid surfaces, with concentrations falling slowly over several days”

          http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/h…..itals.html

    2. It seems like it is pretty contagious in the later stages. And I don’t think anyone is really denying that. But I’ve seen no reason to believe that it is not pretty difficult to transmit early on.

  13. Unless you’re a member of the military who has been ordered into quarantine, in which case the dipshit Chapman no doubt thinks that his beloved Obamessiah made the perfect decision as he always does.

    1. Apparently the military personnel are not accredited enough to be trusted with self-policing.

      1. Well, also that the president does actually have the power to order military personnel to do whatever he wants, whereas the same power over civilians is a bit less clear.

      2. Apparently the military personnel are not accredited enough to be trusted with self-policing.

        And they shouldn’t be. There are plenty of military personnel who are models of responsibility, but there are also plenty that are teenage idiots.

        Also, the military doesn’t have to worry about balancing liberty and security. They can follow the precautionary principle all they want.

  14. *looks in mirror*

    Ebola. EBOLA! EBOLA!!

    *turns into a newt*

  15. If Chapman is against the quarantine, then they might be a good idea.

    1. That’s kind of how I feel.

    2. This just proves he’s a broken clock.

  16. In the picture for the H&R teaser to this article, why is Christie standing behind a giant Frappuccino?

    1. He’s a big man and he has a big thirst.

  17. I’m not sure there could possibly be a worst poster-child for Chapman to whine about “trampling freedom.”

    Except for the few Anarchists masquerading as Libertarians, virtually all Libertarians acknowledge that there are times when government has to circumscribe rights to effectively do its duty. Plague prevention is one of those entirely understandable situations. It’s not like anyone thinks the government is waging a war of repression and using “suspicion of Ebola infection” as proxy to lock up undesirables.

    The fact is that by the time you are showing symptoms, you’re spreading the Ebola virus all over the place. If you wait until travelers from countries where Ebola is rampant start to show symptoms before quarantining them, you’re forever playing catchup, and you’re risking innocent lives.

    Furthermore, we have object examples in several cases that show that people cannot be trusted to “self-quarantine” or even effectively self-monitor.

    It’s just too big a risk. I agree with a recent article on the Volokh conspiracy that people who are quarantined should be paid for their time, but quarantines save lives. Your right to run and around and leave your bodily fluids on tables, doorknobs, handrails and faucet handles, or cough or sneeze in my presence ends when you are a medical worker who has had known contact with Ebola victims!

    1. The fact is that by the time you are showing symptoms, you’re spreading the Ebola virus all over the place.

      This is not true. Start at the Wikipedia page for Ebola Virus Disease and check the cited papers. The first symptoms (fever, headache, etc.) show up several days before the person starts bleeding and vomiting “all over the place”.

      1. But you can pass bodily fluids before you start bleeding and vomiting all over the place.

        Sweat is a bodily fluid. As are mucous and saliva–which makes each sneeze or cough an ebola projectile long before one begins vomiting and puking.

      2. Let’s look at the math:

        “People can be exposed to Ebola virus from direct physical contact with body fluids like blood, saliva, stool, urine, sweat etc. of an infected person and soiled linen used by a patient.”

        http://www.afro.who.int/en/clu…..fever.html

        “The first symptoms (fever, headache, etc.) show up several days before the person starts bleeding and vomiting “all over the place”.”

        “” Limited laboratory studies under favorable conditions indicate that Ebola virus can remain viable on solid surfaces, with concentrations falling slowly over several days””

        http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/h…..itals.html

        So, to summarize, sweat and spit can spread Ebola, it’s a couple of days before you start showing more severe symptoms, and the sweat and spit are viable containers for Ebola for several days.

        That’s all per CDC and WHO.

  18. As a “Big L” Libertarian, I too am vehemently against any unlawful detainment. But, I also am intelligent enough to understand that in very rare instances, our rights can be restricted for public safety (yelling fire in a crowded theater). I do not believe that quarantines violate our rights, especially in the infancy of the outbreak, if they are truly warranted. I admittedly do not know the answer in Kaci’s case. But I would want the government to on the side caution when it comes to deadly communicable disease.

    But what really bothers me is some of the background information coming out about Kaci Hickox. It seems she graduated from a CDC program as an “Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer”. Doesn’t sound like a title for a normal “Doctor’s Without Borders” volunteer. Does that program have anything to do with her being in Sierra Leone? Does that program have anything to do with her insistence that she is not infected? What exactly are graduate nurses in that program trained for? Maybe she knows she is not infected because she was not there to treat the sick, but for other nefarious reasons.

    I personally need more information before I am ready to declare Kaci Hickox a champion of personal freedom.

    http://www.naturalnews.com/047…..icer.html#

    1. Yelling fire in a crowded theater is protected under the first amendment. See here.

      In order to imprison someone I think the burden of proof is on the government to show that the person is a threat. With ebola you aren’t a threat until you are showing symptoms. I think the farthest the government should be able to go in this case is to demand that the individuals self-monitor their temperature and report it by phone twice a day.

      1. “With ebola you aren’t a threat until you are showing symptoms.”

        Care to test that theory by having random unknown encounters with few infected people?

      2. Brandenburg v Ohio is non-instructive.
        That case dealt with speech that might incite lawless acts. Yelling “fire” in a crowded theater, when there isn’t one, would incite panic and a high probability of members of the crowd becoming injured, for a false claim, similar to filing a false police report, committing slander or libel – speech that is not protected by the first amendment.

    2. Mr. Libertarian, Murray Rothbard, said that you cannot yell fire into a crouded theater because it would be a violation of the property rights of the theater owner as well as interfering with the contracts as extensions of the property rights of the other theater patrons and the theater owner. The public safety argument is NOT a reason to restrict our rights. The ONLY potentially legitimate role of government is to serve to protect our rights.

  19. Billy Bones, I agree with your point as far a plague prevention goes. But the “fire in a crowded theater” metaphor is awful and needs to be killed with fire. It is incredibly broad, was initially used to justify a horrible policy which was about as authoritarian as it gets (since overturned), and doesn’t really make any sense. It is a way for politicians and nanny staters to cheat around the First Amendment.

  20. “The Constitution is not a suicide pact.” -Justice Robert H. Jackson

    Medically, Kaci Hickox is a nurse not a physician; in this age of the Sovietization of American medicine, the distinction becomes lost. Legally, she is not a law unto herself.

    Quarantining her, nevertheless, won’t contain Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever (EHF) – or will pseudo-screenings at airports – nor will stopping travel from West Africa – nor will attempting to treat a predicted 1.5-million victims in West Africa.

    The CDC reported that last week the number of cases of EHF in West Africa rose 30% within four days. Treating the untreatable is not the solution. The number of beds alone is insanely inadequate.

    http://www.thelancet.com/ journals/lancetid/article/ PIIS1473-3099(14)70995-8/abstract (intentionally divided to fit format)

    Plan? To build isolating compounds for all identified victims with an adjoining compound for all possible contacts and an adjoining compound for medical and para-medical personnel. No persons would be able to leave without an individualized quarantine … under the severest of penalties. Keep all “healthcare workers” away from all victims in order to allow the epidemic to subside on its own.

    Instead, for reasons ideological and racially political, Barack Hussein Obama, will risk the lives of hundreds of millions around the globe. EHF has made Africa a continent on fire. Obama is fanning the flames in America, already a nation on fire. Why (www.nationonfire.com)?

  21. The Ebola epidemic was stopped in Nigeria. How? Quarantine. They are now Ebola free, no thanks to Mr. Chapman.

    From the WHO website “Unlike the situation in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, all identified contacts were physically monitored on a daily basis for 21 days. The few contacts who attempted to escape the monitoring system were all diligently tracked, using special intervention teams, and returned to medical observation to complete the requisite monitoring period of 21 days.”

    For more politically inconvenient facts http://www.who.int/mediacentre…..r-2014/en/

    1. First, Nigeria is not the USA. You can’t look at how a disease is spreading in a third world country and assume it will do the same here.

      Second, your own link indicates that Nigeria only quarantined known cases, not everyone who had contact with a known case. The contacts were only “monitored” by health officials until they showed symptoms. Those who avoided monitoring were chased down and forced to undergo the monitoring. Note that “medical observation” does not imply quarantine.

      1. “First, Nigeria is not the USA. You can’t look at how a disease is spreading in a third world country and assume it will do the same here.”

        Not everyone in the USA is a paragon of personal hygiene. Ever been in a government housing project? A dive-bar restroom? Dulles International?

        After using public restrooms, 95 percent of people fail to wash their hands long enough to kill harmful bacteria, and 10 percent don’t wash their hands at all. Doorknobs, gas pumps, escalators, restaurant menus, airplanes…they’re all potential vectors that don’t exist in these small African villages that have been wiped out.

        The USA is much more densely populated than Nigeria, and given an outbreak in the right place, we would exceed the number of deaths from ebola in all of Nigerian history, in a matter of days.

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  23. Mr. Chapman.

    My wife works in a hospital, and regularly regales me with stories about how hospital staff at all levels regularly ignore safety protocols designed to prevent the transmission of contagious diseases. And about how many patients become ill as a result.

    And I seem to recall something about CDC protocols not being followed in Texas, resulting in a nurse contracting the disease.

    I therefore am not inclined to assume that all health care professionals “know” how to avoid spreading illness.

  24. It’s fun reading libertarians come up with all sorts of ideas for having government impose itself on people’s personal lives in almost the most intrusive ways imaginable even though there is no scientific basis for it. Guess I’ll never understand the nuances of limited government philosophy.

    1. Yea, because there’s no “scientific basis” for quarantines, right?

      Has anyone told you you’re a fucking idiot yet today?

    2. Its even more fun reading a totalitarian pretending that the most elementary and time-tested ways of controlling a disease outbreak have no scientific basis.

  25. Legally they only way you can establish a quarantine is if a state of emergency has been declared. I do believe there should be voluntary quarantines, just like I believe in voluntary flu shots. I don’t get the flu shot to protect myself, I get it to not be a vector. I agree they don’t have the right to quarantine them, but the people have a duty to quarantine themselves.

    1. “Legally they only way you can establish a quarantine is if a state of emergency has been declared.”

      This is incorrect.

      “Executive Orders specify the list of diseases for which federal quarantine is authorized, which is required by the Public Health Service Act. On recommendation of the HHS Secretary, the President may amend this list whenever necessary to add new communicable diseases, including emerging diseases that are a threat to public health.”

      http://www.cdc.gov/quarantine/…..tions.html

  26. I’ve got my money on an update, shortly after the elections, that states that Ebola is WAY more contagious than previously stated. 400 infections and 230 deaths of healthcare workers in full bio-hazard suits didn’t happen because they were eating the feces and mucous of infected patients. Their exposure was likely minute. Keep in mind that the current objective of .gov is NOT to avoid the spread of this disease; their objective is to “prevent panic”. After all, there’s an election at stake here.

  27. It seems to me that we can’t predict WHEN the symptoms will strike. And when it does, it hits hard and fast.

    I’m not afraid of hanging around HIV positive individuals for obvious reasons. Ebola is a bit different, because there’s slight chance I can contract the disease from a droplet or a sweat. Hotels and malls are known for hiring workers who do a half assed job cleaning sheets, toilets, etc.

    And from what I understand, the initial blood can’t rule out the possibility of an Ebola infection to a scientific certainty.

    If the military personnel can be forced into a quarantine despite a lack of emergency, then why is it such a flagrant violation of civil rights for healthcare professionals (who treated HUNDREDS of Ebola patients) be self quarantined for 21 days? Ebola is not a gun, you have NO control over it.

  28. It is simply ridiculous to complain that requiring people who have been exposed to a communicable disease to be quarantined is absolutely silly. Quarantines have been used effectively for hundreds of years. I remember the quarantine of some of my friends and their families during a polio epidemic in the nineteen forties which stopped the epidemic in it’s tracks.

    This the ridiculous writer of this article wants to shake the hand of a person who has been exposed to Ebola, I say stop whining and complaining and just do it NOW. But a word of warning, you are not allowed to complain if you get the disease.

    Argh! The silliness has gone too far except for one thing, it exposes the idiots in our society.

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