Princeton health officer to provide update on Ebola quarantine of NBC crew, including Princeton resident
PRINCETON — Princeton Health Officer Jeffrey Grosser will update council Monday night about the mandatory quarantine issued Friday by New Jersey health officials for members of an NBC crew – which includes Princeton resident Dr. Nancy Snyderman – that was exposed to Ebola.
State officials said the crew violated a voluntary quarantine imposed after Snyderman, the network’s chief medical editor and correspondent, and others were reporting in Liberia about the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Ashoka Mukpo, a freelance cameraman on the team, was infected with the disease and is being treated in Omaha, Nebraska.
“The important thing to stress is that thankfully they remain symptom-free and so we know that Ebola can only be transmitted when someone is exhibiting symptoms,” Princeton Mayor Liz Lempert said Monday afternoon. “It is an extremely frightening disease but it’s also good to know that they’re healthy and the public is not in danger.”
The health officer’s update is expected during Princeton council’s meeting on Monday at 7 p.m.
Princeton’s police department is patrolling through Snyderman’s neighborhood on an hourly basis, administrator Bob Bruschi said.
“It’s really just to make sure that there’s no chaos out there. We can keep an eye on the house, if cars are leaving,” Bruschi said. “The husband is allowed to come and go. He’s not quarantined.”
Mukpo, a Providence, Rhode Island resident, came down with the disease on Oct. 1, and NBC announced the rest of its crew working with him would voluntarily be isolated for three weeks. The isolation deal was made with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and state and local health officials.
“The difference between the quarantine order and what was the voluntary self-confinement before was that we did not have any enforcement mechanism,” Lempert said.
Those exposed to the virus develop symptoms two to three weeks after exposure, according to the CDC.
“There’s obviously a lot of interest and we want to make sure that the correct information is getting out there and that council is clear on what happened and on what the role of the municipality is going forward,” Lempert said.
Grosser developed a plan in July in the event Princeton had to respond to an Ebola incident and worked with the Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad to make sure it was equipped to handle potential Ebola cases, she said.
“He was way ahead of other communities in developing protocols for PFARS because there was some concern about transporting people who were sick in ambulances,” Lempert said. “When someone has fallen to it, you’re contagious, and you’re contagious when you’re calling for the ambulance.”
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