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Seattle Times letters to the editor

October 18, 2014 at 4:04 PM

Ebola: Create a quarantine period for people entering the U.S. from West Africa

The United States must stop Ebola from entering the country until we learn how to prevent its spread and have developed effective vaccines, preventive medications or effective therapies [“U.S. steps up domestic response to Ebola crisis,” Nation & World, Oct. 15].

At this time, Ebola is uncontrolled in countries from which people can only come here by air or sea. Every person arriving in the United States who has been in a country where Ebola is uncontrolled should be quarantined for 21 days. If a person develops Ebola, that person must be isolated immediately. The cost of quarantine could be a fee added to air or sea travel. The people requiring quarantine could be identified through their passports on entry to the United States.

Meanwhile every laboratory capable of developing vaccines, preventive medications or effective therapies for Ebola must make doing so a top priority. Guidelines and equipment for all potential care providers must be improved to ensure protection of uninfected individuals from developing Ebola.

The symptoms of Ebola in its early stages are too similar to mild common illnesses. If Ebola begins spreading in the country, it would be very difficult to distinguish it from these common diseases, thus delaying isolation of affected victims. We must stop Ebola while we still can.

Gayle Thuot, Bellevue

Comments | More in Ebola | Topics: disease, Ebola, Gayle Thuot

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