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Oct 31
2014
Steve Marr

Is A Quarantine Biblical, and Sound Policy?

Posted by: Steve Marr

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The introduction of Ebola into the United States has set off a firestorm of controversy whether people should be quarantined. I am not a medical doctor, so I will not weigh exactly how people should be quarantined, if at all. I will outline some realities to consider. Over 3,000 years ago we learn from Scripture “Anyone with such a defiling disease must wear torn clothes, let their hair be unkempt cover the lower part of their face and cry out, ‘Unclean! Unclean!’ As long as they have the disease they remain unclean. They must live alone; they must live outside the camp. “(Leviticus 13:45-46) Under the Law, people were required to be separated if they exhibited certain symptoms. Scripture supports the imposition of quarantine when needed.

I hold a license as a United States Customs Broker and have a working knowledge of import requirements of animals.

Dogs may be denied entry if they look like they are sick with a communicable disease or if proof of a valid rabies vaccination is not provided. If a dog appears to be sick at the port of entry, further examination by a licensed veterinarian at the dog owner's expense might be required. Further, dogs unvaccinated will be required to be quarantined.  Horses also require an inspection at the United States port of entry and must be certified to be free of communicable diseases.  

Even within the United States there are some restrictions on animals moving across state lines. Hawaii requires rabies quarantine for many animals for rabies. Horses require special certificates when entering specific states.   

While these restrictions are inconvenient to owners, they are in place for a reason, to protect other animals from having diseases. This has been policy for many decades.  

Throughout history, from the time of Moses to today, quarantine has been used to keep infected, or possibly infected people from others. While quarantine is a hardship on the person, failing to institute an effective quarantine when needed can help facilitate a larger infection across the nation.

The four Ebola cases in America have been headline news stories, and have required a massive amount of health care resources to treat just 4 sick Ebola patients. Even a few dozen Ebola cases will stress the health care facilities.  With a death rate of over 50%, we must respect the disease.

Sound policy would be to identify, and separate possibly infected people, otherwise the devastating illness may gather a foothold in America.

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