Technologies like this allow us to imagine a new form of quarantine. Rather than relying on primitive instruments, indiscriminate profiling or questionnaires, we should consider running a pilot program to test asymptomatic travelers using sensitive P.C.R.-based techniques. Obviously, such technologies are expensive, but the cost is not prohibitive. A typical P.C.R. reaction, including labor, costs between $60 and $200 (we have already spent 100 times more disposing of the contaminated sheets from the home Mr. Duncan stayed in). Since the test takes about a third of the time of a trans-Atlantic flight, the flight would become the quarantine.
Huge logistical questions would need to be solved. Where would such a screening test be administered — before departure from West Africa, or upon landing? Could we imagine a walking quarantine in which travelers were granted provisional entry, but recalled if they tested positive? What infection precautions would need to be in place for such testing? What forms of consent would be required? Who would bear the costs? Who exactly would be tested?'