Mandatory Quarantines in N.J., N.Y. and Ill. May Hinder Ebola Response Efforts, says Save the Children

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Phil Carroll 267.992.6356

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (Oct. 26, 2014) — While we respect the decisions of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn to order a mandatory, 21-day quarantine for all doctors and other travelers who have had contact with Ebola victims in West Africa, we caution that decisions made at this level should be rooted in science and not motivated by fear. Combatting this epidemic requires the assistance of thousands of additional health workers, and this decision has the potential of discouraging gravely needed personnel from deploying to the region. The best way to keep people safe from the virus worldwide is by stopping it at the source: in West Africa. To do that we need people to be able to deploy to help, and we need officials to take that into consideration when they restrict travel or impose quarantines.

Here at Save the Children, staff who return from the region are asked to undergo an in-country risk assessment process to categorize their level of exposure to Ebola. Upon their return, all staff will be monitored in accordance with current CDC guidelines. A decision about when they can return to work will be made on a case-by-case basis. At this time, no international Save the Children staff have any exposure, during the course of their official duties, to patients who have been confirmed to have Ebola Virus Disease. We need to ensure that staff who volunteer to do the noble work of serving those affected by this disease in West Africa do not fear stigmatization or discrimination upon their return home.

Save the Children gives children in the United States and around the world a healthy start, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We invest in childhood – every day, in times of crisis and for our future. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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