Dr. Bassett announces that federal discussions will decide isolation question

By LOUIS FLORES

Commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Dr. Mary Bassett, announced that a federal discussion will decide how Ebola protocols in New York will treat New York physicians returning from West African nations, where the physicians would have had contact with people with Ebola. Source : NY1

Commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Dr. Mary Bassett, announced that a federal discussion will decide how Ebola protocols in New York will treat New York physicians returning from West African nations, where the physicians would have had contact with people with Ebola. Source : NY1

At a news conference held this afternoon, Dr. Mary Bassett, the commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, finally announced that the state and city Ebola protocols have no provision for how to address the monitoring and possible isolation of people, who have come into contact with others, who are known to have Ebola.

When asked about how Ebola protocols will treat, for example, New York physicians, who are returning from the three West African nations, where the current outbreak of Ebola is most concentrated, Dr. Bassett that federal discussions will decide if and how those returning physicians will be monitored or isolated.  

The three West African nations, where Ebola is most concentrated, are Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone.  The city's first Ebola patient, Dr. Craig Spencer, had recently returned from Guinea.

Although Dr. Bassett qualified her remarks only to physicians, who had contact with people with Ebola in West Africa, Progress Queens has been raising questions about how state and city Ebola protocols would treat any person, who has had contact with others, who are known to have Ebola.  Since Monday, Progress Queens has been asking whether people, who may have come into contact with others, who are known to have Ebola, should be required to observe a 21-day period of quarantine in a hospital setting, but state and city health officials have not previously addressed the issue.  With Dr. Bassett's remarks today, it appears that state and city officials have punted this question to federal health officials, the first sign that state and city health officials are even acknowledging this issue.