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Physician calls for perspective on the Ebola crisis

Helping fight Ebola in Monrovia


The nurse who treated patients in West Africa and was held in quarantine over the weekend is set to return home to Maine. That's as controversy continues to swirl around quarantine policies announced by the governors of New Jersey and New York.

Dr. Howard Markel is with the University of Michigan School of Medicine, and he directs the Center for the History of Medicine.

Markel says to avoid overreaction and fear, one must certainly be aware and have an informed concern. But Markel notes that no one is saying the modern public health system worked. Still, Markel says Ebola has not even come close to an epidemic, comparing it to tuberculosis, which kills about 2 million people worldwide, and the flu virus, which kills about 30,000 people in the United States annually.

Markel says the CDC has been incredibly efficient in how it's ramped up progress against Ebola. He says the agency learned quickly from its initial mistakes, and has implemented new protocols. Markel says if he were giving letter grades, “I think I’d give them an A-." 

*Listen to Dr. Howard Markel discuss Ebola above

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