Illinois Ebola quarantine changes to allow volunteers to continue to help

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Illinois is now at the forefront in the fight to contain Ebola. Today, Gov Quinn defended his decision to quarantine people who have had direct contact with infected patients.

For medical professionals attending a conference at the McCormick Place, Ebola was also a hot button issue.

Dr. Dave Pigott is an emergency room physician at the conference today, he lectured about Ebola; how to protect yourself,  how to watch for the signs, how to keep the disease from spreading and how to keep the fear from spreading.

Dr Pigott says, if you’re concerned about infectious disease, get a flu shot, because you have a much better chance of getting that then Ebola.

Dr. Pigott urges people to not stick their head in the ground, just be aware of what’s out there.

And the guidelines appear to be a work in progress.  The White House is urging governors to not overreact when dealing with people who have come from West Africa.  The Illinois Dept of Public Health says those who have a high risk of exposure to Ebola will be quarantined at home for 21 days, not in a hospital.  It’s designed to ensure the public is protected  without discouraging medical professionals from volunteering to fight the disease at its source.

Gov Quinn has always been a supported of the home quarantine.

New York Gov Mario Cuomo and New Jersey Gov Cris Christie were all holdouts. They supported three week quarantines in hospitals for people returning from Ebola stricken nations.  Nurse Kaci Hickox says her quarantine in a New Jersey medical tent was inhumane.  She had just come back from Sierra Leone where she worked with Ebola patients with Doctors Without Borders.  She criticized the state’s handling of the case, battled Gov Christie and was finally released to be quarantined at home in main.

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