Ebola Quarantines Complicate Holiday Travel Plans, May Deter Aid Workers

The holiday season could present a major problem for the fight against Ebola, as states and aid workers try to figure out how — or even whether — American doctors and nurses treating patients in West Africa will be able to come home for Christmas.

Even as the White House tries to recruit medics to fight the disease in Ebola hot zones, the fight over their eventual return to the U.S. is roiling.

A Maine nurse who worked with patients in Sierra Leone told Gov. Paul LePage that she would not stay indoors while she remains symptom-free, and aid workers say a hodgepodge of quarantine rules makes it difficult to determine whether a worker can return to the U.S. without being stuck for three weeks.

“Logistically, it really hurts us, because we’re trying to move our teams into and out of West Africa,” said Gavin Macgregor-Skinner, a Penn State University professor who manages Ebola response efforts for the Elizabeth R. Griffin Research Foundation.