This post was originally titled, “Ahhh!!! The stupid, it burns! (Ebola edition)”. I decided to retitle it to better reflect what motivates my thinking. As I noted in an earlier post, I worked for about 15 years on chemical and biological warfare defense-related projects. I wrote a number proposals for R&D funding which started off “The primary tenet of nuclear, chemical, and biological defense is contamination avoidance.” (The other two are force protection and decontamination.) Anyhow, “The primary tenet of nuclear, chemical, and biological defense is contamination avoidance.” is where I’m coming from. Spread of highly contagious and lethal diseases like Ebola don’t follow from malicious intent like a bio-warfare attack but, from a public health standpoint, there’s no difference in what constitutes an appropriate response.
MY ORIGINAL POST:
From the NY Times, Doctor in New York City Tests Positive for Ebola:
A doctor in New York City who recently returned from treating Ebola patients in Guinea tested positive for the Ebola virus Thursday, becoming the city’s first diagnosed case… Dr. Spencer had been working with Doctors Without Borders in Guinea, treating Ebola patients, before returning to New York City on Oct. 14, according to a city official.
Please explain to me why the @#$% Dr. Spencer was not put immediately into quarantine when he showed up at U.S. Customs? He was treating individuals with a highly contagious and lethal disease for chrissakes. Checking his temperature is all well and good but people infected can be asymptomatic for up to three weeks. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. And, yes, I support denying entry to persons who have been to CDC Level 3 countries within the past 21 days. Have Customs check passports. If you’ve been in a CDC Level 3 country with the past 21 days then straight to quarantine. No discussion. No debate. Sorry for the inconvenience.