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Ebola Nurse Quarantined – Fair or Not? [POLL]

Gov. Paul LePage (Jim Bowdoin courtesy

[UPDATE] After treating Ebola patients in West Africa, nurse Kaci Hickox was mandatorily quarantined upon arriving at the Newark, NJ airport. The NJ Health Department announced this morning that Hickox is being released. Now Maine Gov. Paul LePage has issued a statement.

State and federal officials have been under enormous pressure from the public to do something to protect people from Ebola ever since Thomas Eric Duncan was diagnosed with the virus in Dallas and died earlier this month.

Kaci Hickox had been held against her will in a tent outside a New Jersey medical center after she was taken off a flight, flushed and distraught, Friday. She was said to be tested for a fever using a forehead thermometer. It was determined at Newark airport on Friday that she had a fever, and thus was subject to the mandatory health care worker quarantine. But Hickox said the result was “an instrument error.” Hickox has hired a lawyer and spoken out publicly against her quarantine.

Hickox was the first medical professional to be quarantined in New Jersey immediately upon returning to the United States from West Africa, where she had worked in treating Ebola patients. She lashed out at NJ Governor Chris Christie during the weekend for giving her a diagnosis of sorts as “obviously ill.”

“First of all, I don’t think he’s a doctor; secondly, he’s never laid eyes on me; and thirdly, I’ve been asymptomatic since I’ve been here,” Hickox told CNN’s Candy Crowley in a phone interview Sunday. The NJ Health Department announced this morning that Hickox is being released.

Maine Governor Paul LePage released a statement Monday afternoon regarding this heated situation. Gov. LePage commended healthcare workers for their humanitarian work around the world. He said the public that Maine officials will follow guidelines set by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control for medical workers who have been in contact with Ebola patients.

“We certainly understand healthcare workers’ desire to get home after doing good work in West Africa,” said LePage. “But we must be vigilant in our duty to protect the health and safety of all Mainers, as well as anyone who may come in contact with someone who has been exposed to Ebola.”

What is Ebola? How is it spread? What are the symptoms? How is it treated? Read this Fact Sheet from Maine.Gov.

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