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Debate Continues Over Quarantining U.S. Ebola Workers When They Return Home

News outlets report on the ongoing debate over quarantining U.S. health workers, troops, and others who have worked in West African nations affected by Ebola when they return home.

NBC News: Dozens Of Volunteers Have Come Back Safe From Ebola Hot Zone
“Close to 50 volunteers have come back safe and well from the Ebola hot zone in West Africa, aid agencies tell NBC News, even as states debate whether to force such workers into quarantine. A look at the numbers from groups such as Doctors Without Borders and the International Medical Corps shows just about 150 people have gone to help fight the epidemic in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea. Of them, 47 have returned symptom-free…” (Fox/Naggiar, 10/29).

New York Times: Threat of Lawsuit Could Test Maine’s Quarantine Policy
“A nurse who cared for Ebola patients in Sierra Leone was headed for a legal showdown with the State of Maine on Wednesday over whether the state can quarantine her against her will. The dispute is heightening a national debate over how to balance public health and public fears against the rights and freedoms of health care workers, and troops, returning from West Africa…” (Zernike/Fitzsimmons, 10/29).

Wall Street Journal: Maine Nurse Kaci Hickox Says She Won’t Obey Isolation Rules
“A nurse who returned home to Maine after treating Ebola patients in West Africa said Wednesday she wouldn’t comply with a state quarantine, keeping a spotlight on a person hailed by some as a defender of individual rights and criticized by others as risking public health…” (Levitz/Calvert, 10/29).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.