Ebola Quarantine: Army Major General and Troops, After 30 Days in Liberia

In his latest interview, Cobra suggests that there is a very limited supply of the actual Ebola virus, and that the government is turning it into a media circus, just to scare people into believing that they still have some kind of control. What do you think? -LW


By Barbara Starr, CNN Pentagon Correspondent
updated 1:52 PM EDT, Mon October 27, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The commander of U.S. Army Africa and 10 others are in “controlled monitoring” in Italy.
  • The team just spent 30 days in Liberia helping with the Ebola crisis.
  • There’s no indication that anyone on the team has symptoms of Ebola.
  • It’s unclear why they’re undergoing this kind of monitoring, which is not Pentagon policy.

(CNN) — Army Major General Darryl A. Williams, commander of U.S. Army Africa, and approximately 10 other personnel are now in “controlled monitoring” in Italy after returning there from West Africa over the weekend, according to multiple U.S. military officials.

The American personnel are effectively under quarantine, but Pentagon officials declined to use that terminology.

William’s plane was met on the ground by Italian authorities “in full CDC gear,” the official said referring to the type of protective equipment warn by U.S. health care workers.

There is no indication at this time any of the team have symptoms of Ebola.

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They will be monitored for 21 days at a “separate location” at the U.S. military installation at Vicenza Italy, according to U.S. military officials. Senior Pentagon officials say it is not a “quarantine,” but rather “controlled monitoring.” However, the troops are being housed in an access controlled location on base, and are not allowed to go home for the 21 day period while they undergo twice daily temperature checks.

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It is not clear yet if they will be allowed visits from family members.

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Officials could not explain why the group was being put under into controlled monitoring, which is counter to the Pentagon policy. The current DOD policy on monitoring returning troops says “as long as individuals remain asymptomatic, they may return to work and routine daily activities with family members.”

Williams and his team have been in West Africa for 30 days, to set up the initial U.S. military assistance there and have traveled extensively around Liberia. The team was in treatment and testing areas during their travels.

Speaking to reporters two weeks ago while he was still overseas in Liberia, Williams spoke of the extensive monitoring that he was given.

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“We measure, while we’re here — twice a day, are monitoring as required by the recent guidance that was put out while we’re here in Liberia. I — yesterday, I had my temperature taken, I think, eight times, before I got on and off aircraft, before I went in and out of the embassy, before I went out of my place where I’m staying,” William said during the October 16 press conference.

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“As long as you exercise basic sanitation and cleanliness sort of protocols using the chlorine wash on your hands and your feet, get your temperature taken, limiting the exposure, the — no handshaking, those sorts of protocols, I think the risk is relatively low.”

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