The United States will face a greater threat from Ebola this winter as the epidemic in West Africa slowly turns into a potential worldwide pandemic and leads to outbreaks in cities across the country, according to a noted medical analyst.
In an opinion column for Forbes, Dr. Scott Gottlieb says that during January and February, public health officials will have a tough time tracking the “contacts” of Ebola patients as dozens of possible cases pop up nationwide, especially with the spread of the flu adding to the confusion
The sudden rise in people who may have had even minor exposure to the deadly virus will have a profound effect on the current controversy over forced quarantines in the U.S., the doctor says, noting that the number of potential contacts placed in isolation could number in the hundreds within months.
Gottlieb pointed out that the epidemic is accelerating in Guinea and Sierra Leone, and before long it will have outbreaks closer to the U.S., such as in Latin America, which would ultimately lead to more cases on American soil.
In turn, this could create a critical situation as federal and state authorities attempt to implement forced quarantines, says Gottlieb, adding, “As we have seen from recent events, that legal power is sweeping, intrusive, poorly defined, and absolute.”