Local officials sorting through Ebola guidelines

Oct 29, 2014

State and federal officials disagree on the guidelines for those who may have been exposed to Ebola. The disagreement is not preventing local officials from being prepared.

Dr. Gale Burstein is Erie County's Health Commissioner.
Credit Mike Desmond/wbfo news


President Obama says making everyone coming from the infected areas in West Africa be checked and possibly put into a 21-day hold might discourage others from going to help the tens of thousands of people at risk.

Governor Cuomo and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie say potential cases can be confined to their homes but they will be confined. That might even include some who would be confined right at JFK Airport in Queens if there are physical signs of possible Ebola. Others would be checked at home.

Erie County Health Commissioner Doctor Gale Burstein admits that these are tough rules.

"It (state guidelines) is more restrictive than what CDC is recommending, although CDCs with their new guidelines have increased the restrictiveness of the movements of people who are being monitored for possible Ebola Virus Disease. So, CDC is not calling it quarantine but they are restricting movements based on their level of risk," Burstein explained.

Doctor Burstein says those at risk would be required to report their physical status, like their temperatures, while staying home. The department would make two unannounced visits a day to make sure they haven't wandered off to shop or bowl, as a New York City doctor did before being diagnosed with Ebola and put into isolation.