NY and NJ say they will require Ebola quarantines

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NY and NJ say they will require Ebola quarantines
New York Gov. Andrew Coumo speaks during a news conference at Bellevue Hospital to discuss Craig Spencer, a Doctors Without Borders physician who tested positive for the Ebola virus, Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014, in New York. Spencer recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, left, listens as New Jersey Governor Chris Christie talks at a news conference, Friday, Oct. 24, 2014 in New York. The governors announced a mandatory quarantine for people returning to the United States through airports in New York and New Jersey who are deemed "high risk." In the first application of the new set of standards, the states are quarantining a female healthcare worker returning from Africa who took care of Ebola patients. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
Dr. Craig Spencer, of Columbia University Medical Center, has been identified by the New York Daily News as a doctor who recently returned from treating Ebola patients in Guinea. CUMC is near to the West 147th Street apartment the 33-year-old doctor was taken from this afternoon. (Facebook)
A sign on the gate for the entrance to Bellevue Hospital is viewed on October 24, 2014 in New York, the morning after it was confirmed that Craig Spencer, a member of Doctors Without Borders, who recently returned to New York from West Africa tested positive for Ebola. New York confirmed the first case of Ebola in the largest city in the United States as the EU dramatically ramped up aid Friday to contain the killer epidemic ravaging west Africa.The EU announcement of one billion euros ($1.3 billion) for the worst-hit countries comes as fears of a spread of the virus grew, with the first confirmed case in Mali, where a two-year-old girl has tested positive. Craig Spencer was placed in isolation at Manhattan's Bellevue Hospital Center, officials said. AFP PHOTO / Timothy A. Clary (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
A newspaper vendor holds up a copy of the NY Post in front of the entrance to Bellevue Hospital October 24, 2014 in New York, the morning after it was confirmed that Craig Spencer, a member of Doctors Without Borders, who recently returned to New York from West Africa tested positive for Ebola. New York confirmed the first case of Ebola in the largest city in the United States as the EU dramatically ramped up aid Friday to contain the killer epidemic ravaging west Africa.The EU announcement of one billion euros ($1.3 billion) for the worst-hit countries comes as fears of a spread of the virus grew, with the first confirmed case in Mali, where a two-year-old girl has tested positive. Craig Spencer was placed in isolation at Manhattan's Bellevue Hospital Center, officials said. AFP PHOTO / Timothy A. Clary (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
Residents pass the apartment building of Doctor Craig Spencer on October 24, 2014 in New York. Spencer, a member of Doctors Without Borders, who recently returned from treating Ebola patients in Guinea, the epicenter of the world's worst outbreak of the disease, tested positive for Ebola on October 23, making him the city's first Ebola patient. AFP PHOTO/Don Emmert (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 23: In this image handout provided by the Office of Mayor of New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks with U.S. President Barack Obama following an ebola-related press conference at Bellevue Hospital in in New York City. After returning to New York City from Guinea where he was working with Doctors Without Borders treating Ebola patients, Dr. Craig Spencer was quarantined after showing symptoms consistent with the virus. Spencer was taken to Bellevue hospital to undergo testing. According to reports, test results have confirmed that Spencer has been diagnosed witht the Ebola virus. (Photo by Rob Bennett/Office of Mayor of New York/Getty Images)
New York Police Department officers guard TV news trucks on 1st Avenue in front of Bellevue Hospital on October 24, 2014. Doctor Craig Spencer, a member of Doctors Without Borders, who recently returned from treating Ebola patients in Guinea, the epicenter of the world's worst outbreak of the disease, tested positive for Ebola on October 23, making him the city's first Ebola patient. AFP PHOTO / Timothy A. Clary (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 24: Police keep members of the media and others back from the closed Brooklyn bowling alley that New York City's first Ebola patient visited before showing symptoms of the virus on October 24, 2014 in New York City. Dr. Craig Spencer, who returned to the US from Guinea 10 days ago, tested positive for Ebola on Thursday and is now being cared for at Bellevue Hospital. Spencer, a member of Doctors Without Borders, recently visited the Williamsburg bowling alley The Gutter. The Gutter has closed temporarily as an extra precaution and to be cleaned. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 24: An employee from Bio Recovery Corporation carries equipment into 546 West 147th Street, the apartment building of Dr. Craig Spencer, the doctor recently diagnosed with Ebola, on October 24, 2014 in New York City. Bio Recovery Corporation was handling the clean-up of Dr. Spencer's apartment after he was diagnosed with Ebola on Thursday night. (Photo by Bryan Thomas/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 24, 2014: United States Postal Service mailman Keven Ngo makes a delivery to West 147th Street, while wearing a protective mask, on October 24, 2014 in New York, NY. Ngo said that he didn't typically wear a mask but, since Dr. Craig Spencer was diagnosed with Ebola, he had begun wearing the mask for his protection. (Photo by Bryan Thomas/Getty Images)
Demonstrators with the United African Congress (UAC) hold a rally for the 'Stop Ebola' movement in New York on October 24, 2014 the morning after it was confirmed that Doctor Craig Spencer, a member of Doctors Without Borders, who recently returned to New York from West Africa tested positive for Ebola, making him New York City's first Ebola patient. AFP PHOTO / Timothy A. Clary (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
Police stand in front of the gate of The Gutter bowling alley in Brooklyn, New York, on October 24, 2014. Doctor Craig Spencer visited the bowling alley before being Quarantined at the Bellevue Hospital after testing positive for Ebola. Spencer, a member of Doctors Without Borders, who recently returned from treating Ebola patients in Guinea, the epicenter of the world's worst outbreak of the disease, tested positive for Ebola on October 23, making him the city's first Ebola patient. New York's mayor said America's largest city was fully equipped to handle Ebola as authorities sought to calm fears Friday about the virus spreading, after a doctor tested positive for the disease. AFP PHOTO/Jewel Samad (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
Hazmat crews arrive outside the apartment building of Dr. Craig Spencer, a member of Doctors Without Borders, October 24, 2014 in New York. Spencer, who has been diagnosed with Ebola is being treated in an isolation ward at Manhattan's Bellevue Hospital, a designated Ebola center. New York's mayor said America's largest city was fully equipped to handle Ebola as authorities sought to calm fears Friday about the virus spreading after a doctor tested positive for the disease. Craig Spencer, 33, was in a stable condition in isolation at Bellevue Hospital Center on Friday after testing positive for the illness, which has killed nearly 4,900 people in West Africa. He was rushed to the hospital with fever and gastrointestinal symptoms on Thursday, a week after returning from treating Ebola patients in Guinea with charity Doctors Without Borders. AFP PHOTO/Don Emmert (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
Hazmat crews arrive outside the apartment building of Dr. Craig Spencer, a member of Doctors Without Borders, October 24, 2014 in New York. Spencer, who has been diagnosed with Ebola is being treated in an isolation ward at Manhattan's Bellevue Hospital, a designated Ebola center. New York's mayor said America's largest city was fully equipped to handle Ebola as authorities sought to calm fears Friday about the virus spreading after a doctor tested positive for the disease. Craig Spencer, 33, was in a stable condition in isolation at Bellevue Hospital Center on Friday after testing positive for the illness, which has killed nearly 4,900 people in West Africa. He was rushed to the hospital with fever and gastrointestinal symptoms on Thursday, a week after returning from treating Ebola patients in Guinea with charity Doctors Without Borders. AFP PHOTO/Don Emmert (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
Traffic passes Bellevue Hospital, Friday, Oct. 24, 2014, in New York. Dr. Craig Spencer, a resident of New York City and a member of Doctors Without Borders, was admitted to Bellevue Thursday and has been diagnosed with Ebola. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 23: Police officers stand outside 546 W. 147th street, the apartment building of Dr. Craig Spencer, October 23, 2014 in New York City. After returning to New York City from Guinea where he was working with Doctors Without Borders treating Ebola patients, Spencer was quarantined after showing symptoms consistent with the virus. Spencer was taken to Bellevue hospital to undergo testing. (Photo by Bryan Thomas/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 23, 2014: A health alert is displayed at the entrance to Bellevue Hospital October 23, 2014 in New York City. After returning to New York City from Guinea where he was working with Doctors Without Borders treating Ebola patients, Dr. Craig Spencer was quarantined after showing symptoms consistent with the virus. Spencer was taken to Bellevue hospital to undergo testing. (Photo by Bryan Thomas/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 23: A New York City Police officer stands at the entrance to Bellevue Hospital October 23, 2014 in New York City. After returning to New York City from Guinea where he was working with Doctors Without Borders treating Ebola patients, Dr. Craig Spencer was quarantined after showing symptoms consistent with the virus. Spencer was taken to Bellevue hospital to undergo testing. (Photo by Bryan Thomas/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 08: Bellevue Hospital is viewed following a news conference on how the facility would receive a suspected Ebola patient on October 8, 2014 in New York City. If the patient was confirmed to be carrying the deadly virus the person would be sent to an isolation unit for treatment. The first person diagnosed with Ebola in the United States, Liberian Thomas Duncan, has died at a Dallas hospital, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital said. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Ebola Virus at 108,000 Magnification
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 08: A member of Bellevue's Hospital staff wears protective clothing during a demonstration on how they would receive a suspected Ebola patient on October 8, 2014 in New York City. If the patient was confirmed to be carrying the deadly virus the person would be sent to an isolation unit for treatment. The first person diagnosed with Ebola in the United States, Liberian Thomas Duncan, has died at a Dallas hospital, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital said. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 08: Bellevue Hospital is viewed following a news conference on how the facility would receive a suspected Ebola patient on October 8, 2014 in New York City. If the patient was confirmed to be carrying the deadly virus the person would be sent to an isolation unit for treatment. The first person diagnosed with Ebola in the United States, Liberian Thomas Duncan, has died at a Dallas hospital, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital said. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
EBOLA VIRUSES,DISPLAYING TYPICAL SHAPES, INCLUDING RECURVING ENDS
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 08: Bellevue Hospital is viewed following a news conference on how the facility would receive a suspected Ebola patient on October 8, 2014 in New York City. If the patient was confirmed to be carrying the deadly virus the person would be sent to an isolation unit for treatment. The first person diagnosed with Ebola in the United States, Liberian Thomas Duncan, has died at a Dallas hospital, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital said. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 08: Members of Bellevue Hospital staff wear protective clothing as they demonstrate how they would receive a suspected Ebola patient on October 8, 2014 in New York City. If the patient was confirmed to be carrying the deadly virus the person would be sent to an isolation unit for treatment. The first person diagnosed with Ebola in the United States, Liberian Thomas Duncan, has died at a Dallas hospital, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital said. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 08: Members of Bellevue Hospital staff wear protective clothing as they demonstrate how they would receive a suspected Ebola patient on October 8, 2014 in New York City. If the patient was confirmed to be carrying the deadly virus the person would be sent to an isolation unit for treatment. The first person diagnosed with Ebola in the United States, Liberian Thomas Duncan, has died at a Dallas hospital, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital said. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Ebola Zaire virus
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 08: A member of Bellevue's Hospital staff wears protective clothing during a demonstration on how they would receive a suspected Ebola patient on October 8, 2014 in New York City. If the patient was confirmed to be carrying the deadly virus the person would be sent to an isolation unit for treatment. The first person diagnosed with Ebola in the United States, Liberian Thomas Duncan, has died at a Dallas hospital, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital said. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 08: Members of Bellevue Hospital staff wear protective clothing as they demonstrate how they would receive a suspected Ebola patient on October 8, 2014 in New York City. If the patient was confirmed to be carrying the deadly virus the person would be sent to an isolation unit for treatment. The first person diagnosed with Ebola in the United States, Liberian Thomas Duncan, has died at a Dallas hospital, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital said. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 24: A police car sits in front of 546 W. 147th street, the apartment building of Dr. Craig Spencer, a doctor recently diagnosed with ebola, on October 24, 2014 in New York, NY. The doctor, who recently returned from Guinea after working with Doctors Without Borders, was diagnosed with ebola on Thursday evening after developing a fever earlier in the day. (Photo by Bryan Thomas/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 23: A health alert is displayed at the entrance to Bellevue Hospital October 23, 2014 in New York City. After returning to New York City from Guinea where he was working with Doctors Without Borders treating Ebola patients, Dr. Craig Spencer was quarantined after showing symptoms consistent with the virus. Spencer was taken to Bellevue hospital to undergo testing. (Photo by Bryan Thomas/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 23: A man mops the lobby of 546 W. 147th street, the apartment building of Dr. Craig Spencer, October 23, 2014 in New York City. After returning to New York City from Guinea where he was working with Doctors Without Borders treating Ebola patients, Spencer was quarantined after showing symptoms consistent with the virus. Spencer was taken to Bellevue hospital to undergo testing. According to reports, test results have confirmed that Spencer has been diagnosed witht the Ebola virus. (Photo by Bryan Thomas/Getty Images)
Members of the Department of Defense's Ebola Military Medical Support Team dress with protective gear during training at San Antonio Military Medical Center, Friday, Oct. 24, 2014, in San Antonio. The team will consist of 20 critical care nurses, 5 doctors trained in infectious disease, and 5 trainers in infectious disease protocols. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 24: United States Postal Service mailman Keven Ngo makes a delivery to West 147th Street, while wearing a protective mask, on October 24, 2014 in New York, NY. Ngo said that he didn't typically wear a mask but, since Dr. Craig Spencer was diagnosed with Ebola, he had begun wearing the mask for his protection. (Photo by Bryan Thomas/Getty Images)
Demonstrators with the United African Congress (UAC) hold a rally for the 'Stop Ebola' movement in New York on October 24, 2014 the morning after it was confirmed that Doctor Craig Spencer, a member of Doctors Without Borders, who recently returned to New York from West Africa tested positive for Ebola, making him New York City's first Ebola patient. AFP PHOTO / Timothy A. Clary (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
Police stand in front of the gate of The Gutter bowling alley in Brooklyn, New York, on October 24, 2014. Doctor Craig Spencer visited the bowling alley before being Quarantined at the Bellevue Hospital after testing positive for Ebola. Spencer, a member of Doctors Without Borders, who recently returned from treating Ebola patients in Guinea, the epicenter of the world's worst outbreak of the disease, tested positive for Ebola on October 23, making him the city's first Ebola patient. New York's mayor said America's largest city was fully equipped to handle Ebola as authorities sought to calm fears Friday about the virus spreading, after a doctor tested positive for the disease. AFP PHOTO/Jewel Samad (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
Hazmat crews arrive outside the apartment building of Dr. Craig Spencer, a member of Doctors Without Borders, October 24, 2014 in New York. Spencer, who has been diagnosed with Ebola is being treated in an isolation ward at Manhattan's Bellevue Hospital, a designated Ebola center. New York's mayor said America's largest city was fully equipped to handle Ebola as authorities sought to calm fears Friday about the virus spreading after a doctor tested positive for the disease. Craig Spencer, 33, was in a stable condition in isolation at Bellevue Hospital Center on Friday after testing positive for the illness, which has killed nearly 4,900 people in West Africa. He was rushed to the hospital with fever and gastrointestinal symptoms on Thursday, a week after returning from treating Ebola patients in Guinea with charity Doctors Without Borders. AFP PHOTO/Don Emmert (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
A newspaper vendor holds up a copy of the NY Post in front of the entrance to Bellevue Hospital October 24, 2014 in New York, the morning after it was confirmed that Craig Spencer, a member of Doctors Without Borders, who recently returned to New York from West Africa tested positive for Ebola. New York confirmed the first case of Ebola in the largest city in the United States as the EU dramatically ramped up aid Friday to contain the killer epidemic ravaging west Africa.The EU announcement of one billion euros ($1.3 billion) for the worst-hit countries comes as fears of a spread of the virus grew, with the first confirmed case in Mali, where a two-year-old girl has tested positive. Craig Spencer was placed in isolation at Manhattan's Bellevue Hospital Center, officials said. AFP PHOTO / Timothy A. Clary (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
Workers from BioRecoveryCorp carry equipment from the apartment building of Ebola patient Dr. Craig Spencer Friday, Oct. 24, 2014, in New York. Spencer remained in stable condition while isolated in a hospital, talking by cellphone to his family and assisting disease detectives who are accounting for his every movement since arriving in New York from Guinea via Europe on Oct. 17. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
A worker from BioRecoveryCorp carry equipment from the apartment building of Ebola patient Dr. Craig Spencer Friday, Oct. 24, 2014, in New York. Spencer remained in stable condition while isolated in a hospital, talking by cellphone to his family and assisting disease detectives who are accounting for his every movement since arriving in New York from Guinea via Europe on Oct. 17. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 24: A man shows the front page of a local newspaper while reading in the subway on October 24, 2014 in New York City. Dr. Craig Spencer, who returned to New York from Guinea 10 days ago, tested positive for Ebola on October 23 and is now being cared for at Bellevue Hospital. Spencer, a member of Doctors Without Borders, rode the subway after returning home. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 24, 2014: A couple read news about Ebola on a screen in Times Square on October 24, 2014 in New York City. Dr. Craig Spencer, who returned to New York from Guinea 10 days ago, tested positive for Ebola on October 23 and is now being cared for at Bellevue Hospital. Spencer, a member of Doctors Without Borders, travelled around the city after returning home. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 24: Bio Recovery Corporation employees carry equipment into 546 West 147th Street October 24, 2014 in New York City. After returning to New York City from Guinea, where he was working with Doctors Without Borders treating Ebola patients, Dr. Craig Spencer was quarantined after showing symptoms consistent with the virus. Spencer was taken to Bellevue hospital to undergo testing where he was officially diagnosed with the Ebola virus on October 23rd. (Photo by Bryan Thomas/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 24: Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams speaks in front of The Gutter bowling alley where New York City's first Ebola patient visited before showing symptoms of the virus on October 24, 2014 in New York City. Dr. Craig Spencer, who returned to the US from Guinea 10 days ago, tested positive for Ebola on Thursday and is now being cared for at Bellevue Hospital. Spencer, a member of Doctors Without Borders, recently visited the Williamsburg bowling alley The Gutter. The Gutter has closed temporarily as an extra precaution and to be cleaned. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Police set up a barrier in front of The Gutter bowling alley in Brooklyn, New York, on October 24, 2014. Doctor Craig Spencer visited the bowling alley before being Quarantined at the Bellevue Hospital after testing positive for Ebola. Spencer, a member of Doctors Without Borders, who recently returned from treating Ebola patients in Guinea, the epicenter of the world's worst outbreak of the disease, tested positive for Ebola on October 23, making him the city's first Ebola patient. New York's mayor said America's largest city was fully equipped to handle Ebola as authorities sought to calm fears Friday about the virus spreading, after a doctor tested positive for the disease. AFP PHOTO/Jewel Samad (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
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NEW YORK (AP) - The governors of New Jersey and New York on Friday ordered a mandatory, 21-day quarantine for all doctors and other arriving travelers who have had contact with Ebola victims in West Africa.

The move came after a New York City doctor who returned to the U.S. a week ago from treating Ebola victims in Guinea was diagnosed with the lethal disease.

Many New Yorkers and others were dismayed to learn that after he came home, Dr. Craig Spencer rode the subway, took a cab, went bowling, visited a coffee shop and ate at a restaurant.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the case led them to conclude that the two states need guidelines more rigorous than those of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which recommends monitoring exposed people for 21 days but doesn't require quarantine, in which people are kept away from others, either at home or some other place.

"It's too serious a situation to leave it to the honor system of compliance," Cuomo said.

Dr. Howard Zucker, acting New York state health commissioner, said that any medical personnel who have treated Ebola patients in the three Ebola-ravaged West African countries - Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia - "will be automatically quarantined."

Cuomo said anyone arriving from the three countries will be questioned at the airport about their contact with Ebola patients.

The two governors said the number of travelers subject to quarantine is unlikely to be large. The two states are home to Kennedy Airport and Newark Liberty in New Jersey, both major international portals.

NY, NJ Governors Announce Stricter Ebola Guidelines

Spencer's illness led lawmakers on Capitol Hill, scientists and ordinary New Yorkers to wonder why he was out on the town after his return from West Africa - and why stronger steps weren't being taken to quarantine medical workers.

Health officials said he followed U.S. and international protocols in checking his temperature every day and watching for symptoms, and put no one at risk. But others said he should have been quarantined - either voluntarily or by the government - during Ebola's 21-day incubation period.

An automatic three-week quarantine makes sense for anyone "with a clear exposure" to Ebola, said Dr. Richard Wenzel, a Virginia Commonwealth University scientist who formerly led the International Society for Infectious Diseases.

Doctors Without Borders, the group Spencer was working for, said in a statement that that would be going too far. People with Ebola aren't contagious until symptoms begin, and even then it requires close contact with body fluids.

"As long as a returned staff member does not experience any symptoms, normal life can proceed," the organization said in a statement.

Aid organizations also warned that many health care volunteers wouldn't go to Ebola hot zones if they knew they would be confined to their homes for three weeks after they got back.

On the streets of New York, Michael Anderson was critical of the U.S. government and Spencer.

"He's stupid, a complete idiot" for moving about in public, the longtime Manhattan resident said at Grand Central Station. "It's his responsibility when you come back from Africa" not to put people at risk, he said.

In other developments:

- One of the two Dallas nurses who caught Ebola from a patient was declared virus-free and released from a hospital in Bethesda, Maryland. Nina Pham, 26, said she felt "fortunate and blessed to be standing here today." She later met with President Barack Obama at the White House. The other nurse, Amber Vinson, is in an Atlanta hospital, where she was said to "making good progress."

- Millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015, and five more experimental vaccines will start being tested in March, the World Health Organization said.

- In Mali, which reported its first case this week, authorities warned that many people are in danger because the toddler who brought the disease to the country was bleeding from her nose as she traveled on a bus from Guinea.

Nearly 4,900 people have died in the Ebola outbreak, most of them in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Spencer, a 33-year-old emergency room doctor, returned from Guinea on Oct. 17 and sought treatment Thursday after suffering diarrhea and a 100.3-degree fever. He was listed in stable condition at a special isolation unit at Bellevue Hospital Center, and a decontamination company was sent to his Harlem home. His fiancee, who was not showing symptoms, was being watched in a quarantine ward at Bellevue.

The idea of broader quarantine is a topic "actively being discussed. It's going to be something that will be discussed at federal level," said Dr. Mary Bassett, New York City's health commissioner.

Lawmakers from both parties criticized the federal government's Ebola response.

Rep. Stephen Lynch, D-Mass., said anyone coming from West Africa should be quarantined for 21 days abroad before even boarding a plane to this country.

"This can't just be about ideology and happy talk," Lynch said. "We need to be very deliberate, take it much more seriously than I'm hearing today."

The World Health Organization is not recommending the quarantine of returning aid workers without symptoms, according to spokeswoman Sona Bari.

"Health care workers are generally self-monitoring and are aware of the need to report any symptoms, as this patient did," she wrote in an email.

Bruce Johnson, president of SIM USA, a Christian organization based in North Carolina, said its staffers are told to follow guidelines established by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for their first 21 days in the U.S. Beyond that, he said, they are told to avoid crowded public areas.

Johnson said his staff members would not be deterred from serving in Ebola-stricken countries if they were required to remain isolated in their homes for 21 days upon their return. But such measures could discourage volunteers, he said.

Nurses, doctors and others who hold down regular jobs back home would say, "I want to go over and help for a month, but now you're telling me that when I get back I can't go to work for 21 days?" Johnson said. "Yes, I think that will dampen the generous spirit of people in the U.S. who want to go help."

Johnson was echoed by Dr. Rick Sacra, a Massachusetts physician who was infected with Ebola while doing medical aid work in Liberia. He was evacuated to a specialized treatment center in Nebraska, recovered and was released last month.

"A three-week complete quarantine would eliminate two-thirds to three-quarters of the volunteers from the U.S." going to West Africa, he said. "They wouldn't be able to spare the time."

Samaritan's Purse, a Christian relief organization based in North Carolina, said that its returning aid workers spend three weeks quarantined in a "safe house," where their temperatures are monitored.

They can go out for things like a walk in the park or a visit to the drive-thru of a fast-food restaurant, but are asked to stay away from crowds and are isolated from their families, said Franklin Graham, president of the organization.

Graham said the federal government should rent out a hotel - perhaps one in the Caribbean, to ease public fears - and then staff it with doctors and quarantine all returning health care workers there for three weeks.

"They can sit by the pool and eat hamburgers," Graham said. "I would call it a country club quarantine and let them just relax and cool their heels. ... It's an inconvenience, but it is not a hardship."

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