The New England Journal of Medicine, one of the most prestigious academic medical journals in print, is out Monday with a scathing editorial on the recent Ebola quarantine policies imposed in New York and New Jersey.
The policy, the editorial's authors write, "is not scientifically based, is unfair and unwise, and will impede essential efforts to stop these awful outbreaks of Ebola disease at their source, which is the only satisfactory goal.... In the end, the calculus is simple, and we think the governors have it wrong."
After the first case of Ebola was reported in New York City on Friday, both states imposed a policy of mandatory 21-day quarantines of health care workers returning from Ebola-affected countries. Those policies provoked criticism of overreaction and fears that it would stifle the flow of much-needed volunteers to West Africa. In response to the criticism, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo relaxed the guidelines to allow health care workers to stay in quarantine at home.
The NEJM editorial agrees with the outcries. "The governors' action is like driving a carpet tack with a sledgehammer: it gets the job done but overall is more destructive than beneficial," the authors write.