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Sierra Leone to Impose 3-Day Ebola Quarantine

Posted on September 7th, 2014 at 23:33 by John Sinteur in category: News


With West African governments increasingly desperate to contain an ever-quickening Ebola epidemic, Sierra Leone has decreed a stringent new measure confining residents to their homes later this month.

For three days, from Sept. 19 to Sept. 21, “everybody is expected to stay indoors” as 7,000 teams of health and community workers go door to door to root out hidden Ebola patients, a government spokesman, Abdulai Bayraytay, said Saturday from the capital, Freetown. The military and the police will enforce the measure, Mr. Bayraytay added.

With an incubation time of 8 to 21 days, that sounds woefully inadequate.

Right now they’re only managing to quarantine about 8% of social contacts of victims, and that was in the data published by Science- as the epidemic spread and resources run thing it’s probably even fewer now.

We get the infected patients in their home, they also quarantine everyone living in the home and try to track down anyone who was in contact with those people, who will also be in their home, hopefully. They’re not going to be just quarantining the ones that are actually ill, but also they contacted, who may become ill in the next 21 days.

It’s true you need to do this for 21 days to root everyone out. But they’ve done a number of studies on what’s a feasible quarantine length for a large population (I actually helped run one) and three days is pretty much as long as you can go without meeting a hell of a lot of resistance. So three days it is.

And they may well be wrong.

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