The School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and the School of Medicine respond to the Louisiana Travel Advisory
Travel Advisory will impact the American Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene Annual Meeting, starting Sunday
As scientists, clinicians, and educators committed to seeking and using facts to inform our decisions, we are deeply concerned by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals travel advisory that asks individuals who have been in Sierra Leone, Liberia, or Guinea in the past 21 days to refrain from entering the state. This action is unnecessarily restrictive and, in fact, is contrary to the advisory’s own statement that “asymptomatic individuals are not at risk of exposing others.”
With the imminent arrival of attendees to the American Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene’s Annual Meeting, this policy has many negative consequences. The city and state should be proud to welcome those that can and are fighting this epidemic. Doctors working in the affected countries have the greatest need for the Ebola disease training and education provided at the Annual Meeting, which could lead to stopping the outbreak at its source, truly protecting Louisiana residents.
The quarantine of healthy persons is simply not based on the facts of Ebola transmission. We urge the state to reconsider this travel advisory and ensure that researchers and health professionals can gain the necessary training to fight this disease.
Pierre Buekens, MD, MPH, PhD
W.H. Watkins Professor and Dean
Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine
Lee Hamm, MD
Senior Vice President and Dean
Tulane School of Medicine