US State-Level Policy Responses to the Ebola Outbreak, 2014-2015

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Context: The 2014-2015 Ebola epidemic in West Africa raised concerns about the potential occurrence of an Ebola outbreak in the United States. The federal government and individual states developed guidance and policies to determine how to manage individuals within the United States who may have been exposed to Ebola. Design: A total of 139 documents describing state policies for individuals considered at risk for Ebola and the requirements, as well as restrictions these individuals may be subject to, were systematically identified and analyzed. Results: A wide range of policy responses and variations on quarantine, movement restrictions, exposure categories, and monitoring were found. While the majority of states reflected US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance, some states enacted aggressive quarantine policies and movement restrictions, developed unique categorization strategies, and established more frequent monitoring procedures. Conclusions: Findings may help public health practitioners and policymakers anticipate what policies could be implemented in response to future infectious disease threats. Furthermore, practitioners and policymakers should assume that some variation in response policies will occur at the state level.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11-19
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Public Health Management and Practice
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017


  • Ebola
  • disease outbreaks
  • hemorrhagic fever
  • public health
  • quarantine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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