A 5-year-old boy who arrived in the United States on Saturday from Guinea has been hospitalized in New York City’s Bellevue Hospital for symptoms of Ebola, while senior federal officials are concerned over new quarantine policies in New York and New Jersey.
The boy was not under quarantine. He was hospitalized with a temperature of 103 degrees (39 Celsius) and vomiting.
New York has issued a quarantine policy, but the Obama administration warned that it could actually hurt the fight against Ebola because it would deter medical personnel from traveling to West Africa to fight Ebola.
.Four cases of the disease have been documented in the United States, and the first diagnosed victim, Thomas Duncan, died from Ebola.
The quarantine requires people exposed to anyone with Ebola in New York to stay in their homes for 21 days and be checked twice a day by professionals.
Responding to concerns that mandatory quarantine would inhibit doctors and nurses from traveling to West Africa, Cuomo said New York wanted to encourage personnel to go, lauding their “valor” and “compassion,” while also protecting public safety at home.
Reacting to the quarantine, the Obama administration stated, “We have let the governors of New York, New Jersey, and other states know that we have concerns with the unintended consequences of policies not grounded in science may have on efforts to combat Ebola at its source in West Africa.”
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he was not changing the policy even though he praised medical workers fighting Ebola “for their valor and their courage and their compassion.”
New Jersey faces a lawsuit by a nurse who was quarantined for 21 days in a hospital after returning from treating Ebola victims in Sierra Leone. She argued that the quarantine violated her constitutional rights.
Gov. Chris Christie said he was sorry that the quarantine made the nurse “uncomfortable but that he had “the people in New Jersey as my first and foremost responsibility to protect.”
Another suit is expected to be filed this week by a patient in Texas wo was quarantined but not tested positive for Ebola.