Quarantine, Isolation, and Health Care Workers

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Abstract

Although Ebola virus disease and other hemorrhagic fevers are not generally considered infectious diseases of the nervous system, neurologists may be asked to participate in the management of patients with these and other dangerous communicable illnesses, including possible bioterrorism agents. It is essential for all health professionals to understand the public health, legal, and ethical frameworks behind autonomy-limiting interventions such as quarantine and isolation. Health care professionals represent the front line of defense during public health emergencies. They are often disproportionately affected by the illnesses themselves as well as by the public health interventions intended to prevent spread. The global health crisis caused by the spread of Ebola virus disease has been instructional for examining these ethical issues.

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