Quarantining people who might have Ebola but are presently asymptomatic is unnecessary and has unintended negative consequences, according to several experts.

“Persons who don’t have symptoms don’t spread disease,” Jeffrey Duchin, MD, chair of the public health committee of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, told MedPage Today in a phone interview. “Once symptoms develop, patients can be isolated and [providers can] determine at that point whether they have Ebola.”

The medical community was reacting to governors in New York and New Jersey announcing plans to quarantine anyone who was suspected of having the deadly virus but was asymptomatic. Eventually, both states clarified what they meant; New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced Sunday that such people would be subjected to a 21-day home quarantine, while New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) made a similar statement the same evening.

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