A question-and-answer session with "leading Ebola" experts sharing "perspectives from the ground in West Africa" is scheduled for next Wednesday at that conference, the annual meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. The meeting runs from Sunday through Nov. 6 at two New Orleans hotels.
In a letter to conference attendees, the Cajun State cites fears that the general public might be exposed to Ebola during the conference as the reason for its polite-yet-firm request that some of the attendees stay out of Louisiana. That letter raises those concerns even it as it admits that "from a medical perspective, asymptomatic individuals are not at risk of exposing others."
"In Louisiana, we love to welcome visitors, but we my balance that hospitality with the protection of Louisiana residents and other visitors," wrote Health and Hospitals Secretary Kathy Kliebert and state homeland security director Kevin Davis in the letter to conference attendees.
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The letter noted the state has asked anyone who visited or dealt with Ebola patients in the three West African countries hardest hit by the Ebola outbreak to "self-quarantine" for 21 days if they are in Louisiana.
"Individuals who have traveled to and returned from the countries of Sierra Leone, Liberia or Guinea in the past 21 days or had contact with a known [Ebola] patient in that time period should NOT travel to New Orleans to attend the conference," the letter said.
The missive went on to say that given the fact that people with travel or exposure history for Ebola "are not recommended to participate in large settings (such as this conference) or to utilize public transport, we see no utility in you traveling to New Orleans to simply be confined to your room."