- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 26, 2014

The U.S. fight against Ebola must be driven by science and not fear, and stricter rules on workers returning from Africa could effectively heighten the risk to the U.S., the nation’s top infectious diseases official said Sunday.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said people returning from West Africa are not a risk to others if they do not exhibit symptoms of the virus.

Even so, state governments such as New York and New Jersey are putting in place strict quarantine rules for travelers who return to the U.S. after interacting with Ebola patients.

“I’m concerned, the disincentive for health care workers,” Dr. Fauci told CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Many experts have said the best way to tamp down the risk to the U.S. is by fighting Ebola at its epicenter in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. Volunteers might devote weeks of their life to fighting the deadly virus, only to face rules back home that go beyond scientific evidence, Dr. Fauci said.

“People want to be completely 100 percent risk free of anything,” he said, but there might be the “unintended consequence” of weakening the fight abroad.

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