Ebola Virus Disease Electron Micrograph

Ebola costs encourage budget flexibility among U.S. Republicans

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(Reuters) – Worries about Ebola are chipping away at some congressional Republicans’ support for maintaining across-the-board spending caps on U.S. government agencies and the military.

 

An increasing number of Republicans are speaking out in favor of Ebola “emergency” funds, which would be passed outside of the normal budget process, and would not require offsetting spending cuts or explicit sources of revenue.

 

“I think we’re going to give the money that’s needed,” Republican Representative Blake Farenthold of Texas told Reuters, when asked about emergency funds. “If they need more, they need to ask for it.”

 

Farenthold and others open to special measures for Ebola generally insisted that any broad increase in spending would need to be paid for with cuts. And the pre-election pledges to fight Ebola from rank and file Republicans and some party leadership could still have strings attached.

 

But concerns about the disease are adding to pressures on the 20-month-old “sequester” spending caps. These include the growing costs of fighting Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, maintaining U.S. military superiority over a more aggressive Russia and addressing a surge of child migrants from Central America. Some see concern over Ebola paving the way for other action.

 

Lawmakers and aides now expect an emergency funding request from the Obama administration within days to provide more money for the Centers for Disease Control and other agencies to stop the virus from spreading in West Africa and in the United States. A White House spokeswoman declined to comment on any Ebola request.

 

“Whatever the CDC thinks they need, we’ll give it to them,” Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said in a recent MSNBC interview, referring to Ebola funding.

 

Congress’ deficit-cutting fervor has cooled somewhat as an economic rebound and tax increases have more than halved the government’s deficits to $483 billion last fiscal year from the recession-driven $1 trillion-plus that were prevalent when the controls were enacted in 2011.

 

Approving emergency funds is probably the easiest way for Congress to circumvent the budget caps. Congress did this in August when it approved $16 billion to speed medical care to veterans languishing on long waiting lists at Veterans Affairs Department clinics and hospitals.

 

Lawmakers could also raise caps through a one-or-two year budget agreement like one crafted last year.

 

The most difficult change would be a comprehensive budget deal in Congress that ends seven future years of caps.

 

Many Republican lawmakers, including Farenthold, a member of the conservative Tea Party faction, have been chafing at the spending controls on the military and are talking more openly about easing the sequester outright. Farenthold said he hoped to be able to work with Democrats to target alternative cuts.

 

“I think there’s a good chance it gets replaced at some level,” Republican Representative Tom Cole said of the sequester. He said the building pressures from Ebola and other “international imperatives,” along with lower deficits, mean that Congress has a better chance of reaching an agreement to change sequester.

 

“The stars are beginning to align so that we can achieve something, but it will have to be a compromise,” the ally of House Speaker John Boehner told Reuters.

 

Although he supports offsetting savings, he said Republicans may be more open to allowing higher tax revenue to be an offset to spending if it is part of a broader tax reform plan that boosts economic growth. Previously, he has ruled out any tax increases after the “fiscal cliff” tax hikes were passed in January 2013.

 

There is still broad resistance to anything that could be interpreted as a tax increase among the party’s most conservative wing, but more conservatives are talking about the need for a sequester replacement. The relatively modest size of Ebola funding makes it less controversial. International Medical Corps, a non-profit group working in West Africa, estimates that it will cost $1.6 billion over the next six months to bring the disease under control.

 

“I didn’t vote for sequestration, I’m for ending it,” Representative Jim Jordan said. Jordan, one of the most conservative Republicans in Congress, told Reuters the “pressing” issues from Ebola to Islamic State represent emergencies that need funding, though he added that he will insist on spending reductions elsewhere in the budget to offset increases in spending for Ebola and the military.

 

“Let’s hope (Ebola) forces the hand to increase military spending and make savings and reductions other places so that we actually are treating taxpayers with the respect that they deserve,” he said. A year ago, he vowed that Republicans would stay united in defending the spending caps.

 

(Reporting By David Lawder, editing by Caren Bohan and Peter Henderson)

 

10-31-2014 Updates

No Ebola in Tulsa, Oklahoma: http://newsok.com/update-officials-say-tulsa-hospital-patient-with-fever-has-malaria-not-ebola/article/5362165

No Ebola in Maine: http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/31/health/us-ebola/

No Ebola in Helsinki, Finland http://yle.fi/uutiset/hus_ebola_scare_unfounded_more_tests_to_be_conducted/7591987

1 Monitored Case in Portland, Oregon: http://www.nwcn.com/story/news/health/2014/10/31/person-being-monitored-for-ebola-in-oregon-hospitalized/18265269/

ebola-nurse-manie

Nurse free to move about as restrictions eased

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Oct. 31, 2014: Nurse Kaci Hickox speaks to reporters outside their home. (AP)

FORT KENT, Maine –  A nurse in who treated Ebola patients in Sierra Leone can move about as she pleases after a judge eased state-imposed restrictions on her, handing officials in Maine a defeat in the nation’s biggest court case yet over how to balance personal liberty, public safety and fear of Ebola.

Judge Charles C. LaVerdiere ruled Friday that Kaci Hickox must continue daily monitoring of her health but said there is no need to isolate her or restrict her movements because she has no symptoms and is therefore not contagious.

 The judge also decried the “misconceptions, misinformation, bad science and bad information” circulating about the lethal disease in the U.S.

After the ruling, a state police cruiser that had been posted outside Hickox’s home left, and she and her boyfriend stepped outside to thank the judge.

Hickox, 33, called it “a good day” and said her “thoughts, prayers and gratitude” remain with those who are still battling Ebola in West Africa.

She said she had no immediate plans other than to watch a scary movie at home on Halloween in this town of 4,300 people on the remote northern edge of Maine, near the Canadian border.

Maine health officials had gone to court on Thursday in an attempt to bar her from crowded public places and require her to stay at least 3 feet from others until the 21-day incubation period for Ebola was up on Nov. 10. She would have been free to jog or go bike riding.

But the judge turned the state down.

Gov. Paul LePage said he disagreed with the ruling but will abide by it. Officials said there are no plans to appeal.

“As governor, I have done everything I can to protect the health and safety of Mainers. The judge has eased restrictions with this ruling, and I believe it is unfortunate,” LePage said.

Later in the day, the governor lashed out at Hickox, saying: “She has violated every promise she has made so far, so I can’t trust her. I don’t trust her. And I don’t trust that we know enough about this disease to be so callous.”

Hickox was thrust into the center of a national debate after she returned to the U.S. last week from treating Ebola victims in West Africa as a volunteer for Doctors Without Borders.

She contended that the state’s confining her to her home in what it called a voluntary quarantine violated her rights and was unsupported by science. She defied the restrictions twice, once to go on a bike ride and once to talk to the media and shake a reporter’s hand.

In his ruling, the judge thanked Hickox for her service in Africa and acknowledged the gravity of restricting someone’s constitutional rights without solid science to back it up.

“The court is fully aware of the misconceptions, misinformation, bad science and bad information being spread from shore to shore in our country with respect to Ebola,” he wrote. “The court is fully aware that people are acting out of fear and that this fear is not entirely rational.”

Hickox’s quarantine in Maine — and, before that, in New Jersey, upon her arrival back in the U.S. — led humanitarian groups, the White House and many scientists to warn that automatically quarantining medical workers could discourage volunteers from going to West Africa, where more than 13,500 people have been sickened and nearly 5,000 have died from Ebola.

Hickox has been vilified by some and hailed by others. She has been getting a similarly mixed reaction from her health care colleagues.

On a popular nursing website, allnurses.com, some nurses felt the 21-day quarantine was a sensible precaution for those returning from a high-risk area, while others were more critical, accusing her of giving nurses everywhere a bad name.

Hickox has said she is following the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendation of daily monitoring for fever and other signs of the disease. She tested negative for Ebola last weekend, but it can take days for the virus to reach detectable levels.

Her boyfriend, Ted Wilbur, said Friday that the two of them weren’t planning to go into town in the immediate future.

“I’m just happy that Kaci is able to go outside, exercise. It’s not healthy to be inside for 21 days,” he said.

Ebola Virus Disease Electron Micrograph

Judge rejects isolation for U.S. nurse who treated Ebola patients

This article was originally published on this site
(Reuters) – A Maine judge ruled on Friday that a U.S. nurse who treated victims of Ebola in West Africa does not need to be confined to her home, declaring Ebola fears in the United States “not entirely rational.”

 

Nurse Kaci Hickox’s challenge of Maine’s 21-day isolation regime became a key battle in the dispute between some U.S. states and the federal government. A handful of states have imposed mandatory quarantines on health workers returning from three Ebola-ravaged West African countries while the federal government is wary of discouraging potential medical volunteers.

 

While she may travel freely in public, the judge decided that Hickox must continue direct monitoring of her health, coordinate travel plans with health officials and report any symptoms.

 

“I’m happy with the decision the judge made today,” Hickox told reporters via a live video feed from her house in Maine to her lawyer’s New York City office. “I think we are on the right track. I think now we’re discussing as a nation and individual communities about this disease.”

 

Public concern about the spread of the virus is high in both the United States and Canada. Canada became the second developed nation after Australia to bar entry for citizens from the three West African nations where Ebola is widespread.

 

Some U.S. politicians have called for a similar travel ban, making Ebola as much of a political issue as a public health question.

 

The most deadly outbreak of the disease on record has killed nearly 5,000 people, all but a handful of them in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

 

Only one person in the United States is currently being treated for Ebola, a New York doctor, Craig Spencer, who cared for patients in West Africa.

 

Maine Governor Paul LePage, a Republican in a tough re-election battle that culminates in Tuesday’s elections, said he was disappointed that restrictions confining the nurse to her home were lifted. His office did not respond to questions about whether the governor would appeal the ruling.

 

The issue is not yet legally closed.

 

A hearing is scheduled for Tuesday that will give lawyers for the state another opportunity to plead their case for more restrictions on Hickox before Charles LaVerdiere, the chief judge of Maine District Court.

 

In Friday’s order, LaVerdiere said, “the court is fully aware of the misconceptions, misinformation, bad science and bad information being spread from shore to shore in our country with respect to Ebola.

 

“The court is fully aware that people are acting out of fear and that this fear is not entirely rational. However, whether that fear is rational or not, it is present and it is real,” the judge added, saying Hickox is “not infectious.”

 

On Thursday, the 33-year-old nurse defied the state’s quarantine order and went on a bike ride with her boyfriend. Following the ruling, state troopers who had been stationed outside Hickox’s home departed.

 

Speaking to reporters alongside boyfriend Ted Wilbur outside her two-story clapboard house in the small town of Fort Kent along the Canadian border, Hickox said she would comply.

 

“It’s just a good day,” Hickox said. “I am taking things minute by minute. Tonight, I am going to try to convince Ted to make me my favorite Japanese meal. And I think we’re going to watch scary movies since it’s Halloween.”

 

Hickox tested negative for Ebola after returning from working for Doctors Without Borders in Sierra Leone. She also objected when the state of New Jersey put her into isolation when she arrived at Newark airport.

 

She said he hoped to be able to return for more work in West Africa. “I love working overseas. It’s been a large part of my life since 2006,” Hickox said.

 

“I know that Ebola is a scary disease. I have seen it face-to-face and I know that we are nowhere near winning this battle,” she added.

 

Medical professionals say Ebola is difficult to catch and is spread through direct contact with bodily fluids from an infected person and is not transmitted by asymptomatic people. Ebola is not airborne.

 

An Oregon resident was hospitalized on Friday for a possible Ebola infection after traveling to West Africa, according to state health officials. The woman registered a high temperature and is in isolation and not a danger to the public, Oregon Health Authority said.

 

The woman had not come into known contact with Ebola patients while in Africa, and had not been quarantined after arriving in Portland because there was no medical need, Dr. Paul Lewis, a public health officer in the Portland area, told a news conference.

 

Public health experts, the United Nations, federal officials and even President Barack Obama have expressed concern that state quarantines for returning doctors and nurses could discourage potential medical volunteers from fighting the outbreak at its source in West Africa.

 

In New York on Friday, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power defended federal guidelines for monitoring healthcare workers returning from the three Ebola-stricken countries.

 

Power spoke at a Reuters Newsmaker event hours after returning from a four-day trip to Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. She said she believed current federal guidelines for returning healthcare workers balanced “the need to respond to the fears that this has generated” in the United States with the known science on the disease.

 

The U.S. Department of Defense trod that line carefully on Friday. According to the Pentagon, civilian U.S. defense employees returning from Ebola relief work in West Africa must undergo monitoring to ensure they are free of disease but can choose between following civil health guidelines or the stricter military regimen, which requires troops to be isolated for 21 days after returning to their home station.

 

Another potential flashpoint was resolved when Louisiana reached an agreement on Friday to prevent Veolia Environmental Services, which is in possession of the incinerated personal items of Ebola victim Thomas Eric Duncan and is holding them in Port Arthur, Texas, from sending them to a Louisiana landfill.

 

Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell had sued and obtained a temporary restraining order to block the transfer of the material collected from Duncan and the Dallas apartment where he was staying to a hazardous waste landfill in Louisiana.

 

(Additional reporting by Joseph Ax, Jonathan Allen, Courtney Sherwood, David Ljunggren, Jeffrey Hodgson, Brendan O’Brien, David Alexander and Jonathan Kaminsky; Writing by Will Dunham and Bill Rigby; Editing by Jonathan Oatis, Grant McCool and Lisa Shumaker)

 

JP-RECOVER2-articleInline

Better Staffing Seen as Crucial to Ebola Treatment in Africa

This article was originally published on this site
By DENISE GRADY
October 31, 2014

Dr. Rick Sacra, a missionary who contracted Ebola in Liberia this August, was first treated there. Each nurse on the ward cared for 15 or 20 patients, and none could work for more than an hour at a time because the protective gear was so suffocatingly hot. They never drew his blood for lab tests. There was no lab.

“A nurse makes rounds maybe once every eight hours,” Dr. Sacra said. A doctor came by once a day. “The staff is so few.”

After he was evacuated to Nebraska Medical Center, a nurse stayed in his room all the time, and dozens of people were involved in his care. He had daily blood tests to monitor his electrolytes, blood count, liver and kidneys, and doctors used the results to adjust what went into his intravenous lines.

The stark difference in the care available in West Africa and the United States is reflected in the outcomes, as well. In West Africa, 70 percent of people with Ebola are dying, while seven of the first eight Ebola patients treated in the United States have walked out of the hospital in good health. Only one died: Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian, whose treatment was delayed when a Dallas hospital initially misdiagnosed his illness.The survival gap can and should be narrowed, experts say, and they agreed that the single most important missing element is enough trained health workers to provide the kind of meticulous intensive care that saved Dr. Sacra and the others treated here. West Africa is starved of doctors, nurses, hospitals and equipment, so more outside help is urgently needed, they said.

Former Ebola patient Nina Pham, a nurse who was infected while treating an Ebola patient in Dallas.

“There is no reason we can’t turn this around,” said Dr. Paul Farmer, a Harvard professor and co-founder of the aid group Partners in Health, which is setting up treatment centers in Liberia and Sierra Leone for 500 patients each. “You need the four S’s,” he said. “Staff, stuff, space, systems.”

Doctors say the key to surviving Ebola, and what has saved the patients in the United States, has been a higher level of “supportive care” to treat deadly symptoms like severe fluid loss and organ failure. That means the patients received intravenous fluids and salts to replace what they lost through vomiting and diarrhea, a fluid loss that can reach five to 10 quarts a day during the worst phase of the disease. Without the fluids, blood pressure can crash, and the patient can quickly go into shock and die.

Most of the patients in the United States also received experimental drugs or plasma transfusions, but doctors say rehydration played a major role in saving them.

“It’s not rocket science,” said Dr. Daniel Bausch, an infectious disease expert from Tulane University who has treated Ebola patients in Guinea and Sierra Leone. Fluid replacement is done routinely for all sorts of illnesses in the United States, he said. But he added, “It’s much more challenging in Africa.”

Dr. Rick Sacra, a missionary who was infected with Ebola in Liberia.

The greatest need, he said, is for a larger staff. “Biggest impediment to this outbreak,” he said. “We need people to do the work.”

Dr. Bausch and Dr. Pierre Rollin of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, both veterans of multiple Ebola outbreaks, said they could not be sure yet, but thought this new strain of Ebola was causing more severe and copious diarrhea than earlier strains, increasing the need to monitor and replace fluids and electrolytes.

Dr. Bruce S. Ribner, who directed the care of patients evacuated to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, said his medical team was surprised at the amount of fluid and potassium lost, and alerted doctors at treatment centers in Africa that patients there might need more replenishment than expected.

Dr. Armand Sprecher, a public health specialist for Doctors Without Borders, echoed the need for more pairs of hands: “If somebody said, what would I love to be able to bring to bear? Dialysis machines? Ventilators? Infusion pumps? No, I would want more person-hours of skilled nursing for patients.”

Nancy Writebol, who contracted the virus while doing missionary work in Liberia.

Ebola wards need an unusually high level of staffing, Dr. Sprecher said. Not only does each patient require a lot of care, but the protective gear causes health workers to overheat so quickly and severely, especially in wards that lack air-conditioning in bare-bones facilities, that they cannot work for more than an hour without coming out to cool down. Extra workers are needed so that they can spell each other.

Doctors and nurses working in the Ebola zone are disturbed by the limited care they can provide and the high death rates. Indeed, if they become infected, they leave if they can: at least 10 volunteers from developed countries have been flown to Europe or the United States for treatment rather than remain in the West African hospitals where they worked.

One volunteer, Dr. Craig Spencer, who returned to the United States from treating Ebola patients in Guinea and fell ill on Oct. 23, is being treated for the virus in New York.

Like most of the aid workers treated in the United States, those evacuated to Europe have generally fared better than patients in Africa. Two of three sent to Germany survived, as did one in Britain. Two priests repatriated to Spain died, but a health worker infected while caring for one of them survived.

Although the level of intensive care is important, doctors also say it is not the whole story. Dr Ribner suggested that two nurses infected in Dallas may have recovered quickly because they are young, in their 20s.

“We know from a lot of data coming out of Africa that younger patients do much better,” he told reporters on Tuesday. He also suggested that the gear they wore, though it obviously did not prevent infection, may have spared them a worse infection by minimizing the amount of the virus to which they were exposed.

“The higher the viral load that you get infected with, the more severe your disease is likely to be,” Dr. Ribner said.

He also mentioned that some of the sickest patients in the United States were saved by ventilators and kidney dialysis. Those treatments are not available in the field hospitals in West Africa where Ebola is being treated.

Dr. Sprecher said that most patients in West Africa were not well nourished, and that Ebola quickly sapped what little reserves they had and then made them too sick to eat. He said Doctors Without Borders was considering different options for feeding. Nasal tubes have failed: Ebola patients tend to rip them out, he said. Intravenous nutrient solutions may be needed, he said, but they are not simple to administer, and the obstacle once again is staffing.

He said Doctors Without Borders was also trying to find ways to do the routine monitoring of electrolytes that can help fine-tune treatment for severe fluid loss. At present, the only lab work done on a typical patient is a single test to see whether the person has Ebola.

Short-staffed and overwhelmed with severely ill patients, the group has judged that drawing and handling blood posed too much of a risk to its workers from spills or being stuck with needles. In addition, there simply have not been enough medical workers to follow up on those blood tests by doing things like adjusting the electrolyte levels in intravenous fluids.

But now, Dr. Sprecher said, the possibility of testing patients’ blood chemistry every other day was being investigated.

He said that over all, the death rate was about 60 percent at Doctors Without Borders’ six treatment centers in West Africa, and dropping somewhat. A similar pattern of improving survival has occurred in other Ebola outbreaks, probably because early on, the first patients to seek treatment tend to be the sickest, and many are too far gone to be saved. Gradually, people show up in earlier stages of the disease, when their odds of surviving are higher.

But Dr. Sprecher said he did not expect big drops in the death rate. “I think we could do better,” he said. “But this is not like cholera or dengue, where you can get it down to 1 percent. I could be wrong. There are people who have a lot of hope for supportive care, for doing it better. I’ll be happy to be proven wrong.”

Dr. Farmer of Partners in Health said that too often, aid workers in Africa become “socialized to scarcity”— resigned to shortages of help and supplies, and to accepting that there is only so much they can do. He challenged that idea, arguing that the standard of care should be the same everywhere.

“Let’s have a medical moon shot,” he said.

Alan Blinder contributed reporting from Atlanta, and Donald G. McNeil Jr. from New York.

Ebola Virus Disease Electron Micrograph

No quarantine for Ebola nurse

This article was originally published on this site
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Nurse Kaci Hickox calls court decision a “good compromise”
  • Judge rejects Ebola quarantine for Hickox, loosens restrictions
  • “We are not trying to get anyone sick,” her boyfriend says
  • Ted Wilbur, her boyfriend, says quarantine of aid workers will affect their partners as well

(CNN) — A Maine judge on Friday ruled in favor of a nurse who defied a quarantine in a tense standoff with state authorities, saying local health officials failed to prove the need for a stricter order enforcing an Ebola quarantine.

District Court Chief Judge Charles LaVerdiere ordered nurse Kaci Hickox, who recently returned to the United States after treating Ebola patients in Sierra Leone, to submit to “direct active monitoring,” coordinate travel with public health officials and immediately notify health authorities should symptoms appear. Another hearing is scheduled for Tuesday.

Standing with her boyfriend Ted Wilbur, outside their home in Maine, Hickox told reporters the decision was a “good compromise” and that she would continue to comply with direct active monitoring.

Ebola outbreak: Get up to speed

“I know that Ebola is a scary disease,” she said. “I have seen it face-to-face. I know we are nowhere near winning this battle. We’ll only win this battle as we continue this discussion, as we gain a better collective understanding about Ebola and public health, as we overcome the fear and, most importantly, as we end the outbreak that is still ongoing in West Africa today.”

In a news conference with her lawyers Friday, Hickox, via Skype, expressed her support with the army of U.S. health care professionals battling the outbreak in West Africa.

“They are why I’m here,” she said, acknowledging that she will work in Africa again. “I hope that one day I can meet some of them at the airport and give them a big hug and let them know that we’re in this together … This is important day for public health.”

Her attorney, Norman Siegel, earlier called the decision a victory.

Ebola: Who gets what quarantine? Ebola: Who gets what quarantine?

Ebola: Who gets what quarantine?Ebola: Who gets what quarantine?

Judge lifts nurse’s quarantine

“She won,” he said. “She is not quarantined. She can go out in the public. … (The judge) got the understanding of what liberty is about and how the government can’t restrict your liberty unless there is compelling justification.”

At the news conference, another lawyer for Hickox, Steve Hyman, called the decision “an indication of thoughtfulness versus irrationality” and said his client had become “a prisoner because of misconceptions and a whole host of irrational arguments.”

Hyman said he hoped politicians applied “the same kind of thinking and rationality” as LaVerdiere did when dealing with Ebola.

Late Thursday, the judge had ordered stricter limits on Hickox, requiring that she “not to be present in public places,” such as shopping centers or movie theaters, except to receive necessary health care. The temporary order permitted her to engage in “non-congregate public activities,” such as walking or jogging, but said she had to maintain a 3-foot distance from people. And it forbade her from leaving the municipality of Fort Kent without consulting local health authorities.

In Friday’s ruling, LaVerdiere praised Hickox for lending her skills “generously, kindly and with compassion” to “aid, comfort and care” for Ebola patients.

“We owe her and all professionals who give of themselves in this way a debt of gratitude,” he wrote.

While many people were acting out of fear that is not entirely rational when it comes to the deadly Ebola outbreak, the judge said that fear was present and real.

The actions of Hickox, as a health professional, “need to demonstrate her full understanding of human nature and the real fear that exist,” LaVerdiere wrote. “She should guide herself accordingly.”

Hickox said she has been sensitive to those fears.

“This is one of the reasons I am saying this battle isn’t over,” she said. “We need to continue this discussion. We need to continue educating ourselves and I don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable. I think so far Ted and I have shown a lot of respect to this community. We care about the community.”

Maine authorities wanted Hickox to stay home for 21 days — the incubation period for the deadly virus — although she has tested negative for the disease and has shown no symptoms.

Hickox says that she is healthy and that forcing her to stay home is unconstitutional.

Wilbur said isolating medical professionals returning from West Africa, the epicenter of the Ebola outbreak, affects their partners as well.

“This thing doesn’t just affect Kaci,” Wilbur told CNN affiliate WCHS. “And when people are going to be coming home from different parts of the world and West Africa, it’s just not affecting the aid workers and what not. It’s affecting their partners.”

‘We’re not trying to push any limits’

Nurse: Not intention to put any at risk

Atty.: It’s all political, driven by fear

Nurse’s neighbor: Stick to the quarantine

Health workers in Monrovia, Liberia, cover the body of a man suspected of dying from the Ebola virus on Friday, October 31. Health officials say the Ebola outbreak in West Africa is the deadliest ever. More than 4,900 people have died there, according to the World Health Organization.Health workers in Monrovia, Liberia, cover the body of a man suspected of dying from the Ebola virus on Friday, October 31. Health officials say the Ebola outbreak in West Africa is the deadliest ever. More than 4,900 people have died there, according to the World Health Organization.
Kaci Hickox leaves her home in Fort Kent, Maine, to take a bike ride with her boyfriend on Thursday, October 30. Hickox, a nurse, recently returned to the United States from West Africa, where she treated Ebola victims. State authorities want her to avoid public places for 21 days -- the virus' incubation period. But Hickox, who has twice tested negative for Ebola, has said she will defy efforts to keep her quarantined at home.Kaci Hickox leaves her home in Fort Kent, Maine, to take a bike ride with her boyfriend on Thursday, October 30. Hickox, a nurse, recently returned to the United States from West Africa, where she treated Ebola victims. State authorities want her to avoid public places for 21 days — the virus’ incubation period. But Hickox, who has twice tested negative for Ebola, has said she will defy efforts to keep her quarantined at home.
Crew members at an airport in Accra, Ghana, unload supplies sent from China on Wednesday, October 29.Crew members at an airport in Accra, Ghana, unload supplies sent from China on Wednesday, October 29.
Health officials in Nairobi, Kenya, prepare to screen passengers arriving at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on Tuesday, October 28.Health officials in Nairobi, Kenya, prepare to screen passengers arriving at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on Tuesday, October 28.
Amber Vinson, one of the two Dallas nurses who were diagnosed with Ebola, embraces Emory University Hospital epidemiologist Dr. Bruce Ribner after being discharged from the Atlanta hospital on October 28. Vinson and the other nurse, Nina Pham, have both been declared Ebola-free.Amber Vinson, one of the two Dallas nurses who were diagnosed with Ebola, embraces Emory University Hospital epidemiologist Dr. Bruce Ribner after being discharged from the Atlanta hospital on October 28. Vinson and the other nurse, Nina Pham, have both been declared Ebola-free.
Hickox sent CNN this image of the tent where she was initially being isolated for Ebola monitoring Sunday, October 26, in New Jersey. Hospital officials told CNN the indoor tent was in a climate-controlled extended-care facility adjacent to a hospital.Hickox sent CNN this image of the tent where she was initially being isolated for Ebola monitoring Sunday, October 26, in New Jersey. Hospital officials told CNN the indoor tent was in a climate-controlled extended-care facility adjacent to a hospital.
U.S. President Barack Obama hugs Ebola survivor Nina Pham in the Oval Office of the White House on Friday, October 24. Pham, one of the two Dallas nurses who were diagnosed with the virus, was declared Ebola-free after being treated at a hospital in Bethesda, Maryland.U.S. President Barack Obama hugs Ebola survivor Nina Pham in the Oval Office of the White House on Friday, October 24. Pham, one of the two Dallas nurses who were diagnosed with the virus, was declared Ebola-free after being treated at a hospital in Bethesda, Maryland.
Police officers on Thursday, October 23, stand outside the New York City apartment of Craig Spencer, a Doctors Without Borders physician who recently returned from West Africa and tested positive for Ebola.Police officers on Thursday, October 23, stand outside the New York City apartment of Craig Spencer, a Doctors Without Borders physician who recently returned from West Africa and tested positive for Ebola.
Health workers in Port Loko, Sierra Leone, transport the body of a person who is suspected to have died of Ebola on Tuesday, October 21.Health workers in Port Loko, Sierra Leone, transport the body of a person who is suspected to have died of Ebola on Tuesday, October 21.
RoseAnn DeMoro, executive director of the California Nurses Association and National Nurses United, talks to reporters in Sacramento, California, after meeting with Gov. Jerry Brown to discuss the Ebola crisis on October 21.RoseAnn DeMoro, executive director of the California Nurses Association and National Nurses United, talks to reporters in Sacramento, California, after meeting with Gov. Jerry Brown to discuss the Ebola crisis on October 21.
Health workers bury a body on the outskirts of Monrovia on Monday, October 20.Health workers bury a body on the outskirts of Monrovia on Monday, October 20.
Christine Wade, a registered nurse at the University of Texas Medical Branch, greets Carnival Magic passengers disembarking in Galveston, Texas, on Sunday, October 19. Nurses met passengers with Ebola virus fact sheets and were available to answer any questions. A Dallas health care worker was in voluntary isolation aboard the cruise ship because of her potential contact with the Ebola virus. She had shown no signs of the disease, however.Christine Wade, a registered nurse at the University of Texas Medical Branch, greets Carnival Magic passengers disembarking in Galveston, Texas, on Sunday, October 19. Nurses met passengers with Ebola virus fact sheets and were available to answer any questions. A Dallas health care worker was in voluntary isolation aboard the cruise ship because of her potential contact with the Ebola virus. She had shown no signs of the disease, however.
Garteh Korkoryah, center, is comforted during a memorial service for her son, Thomas Eric Duncan, on Saturday, October 18, in Salisbury, North Carolina. Duncan, a 42-year-old Liberian citizen, died October 8 in a Dallas hospital. He was in the country to visit his son and his son's mother, and he was the first person in the United States to be diagnosed with Ebola.Garteh Korkoryah, center, is comforted during a memorial service for her son, Thomas Eric Duncan, on Saturday, October 18, in Salisbury, North Carolina. Duncan, a 42-year-old Liberian citizen, died October 8 in a Dallas hospital. He was in the country to visit his son and his son’s mother, and he was the first person in the United States to be diagnosed with Ebola.
An airplane carrying Nina Pham arrives at an airport in Frederick, Maryland, on Thursday, October 16. Pham is one of the two nurses who were diagnosed with Ebola after treating Duncan. Pham was sent to Maryland to be treated at a National Institutes of Health hospital, and she was declared Ebola-free several days later.An airplane carrying Nina Pham arrives at an airport in Frederick, Maryland, on Thursday, October 16. Pham is one of the two nurses who were diagnosed with Ebola after treating Duncan. Pham was sent to Maryland to be treated at a National Institutes of Health hospital, and she was declared Ebola-free several days later.
Boys run from blowing dust as a U.S. military aircraft leaves the construction site of an Ebola treatment center in Tubmanburg, Liberia, on Wednesday, October 15.Boys run from blowing dust as a U.S. military aircraft leaves the construction site of an Ebola treatment center in Tubmanburg, Liberia, on Wednesday, October 15.
Aid workers from the Liberian Medical Renaissance League stage an Ebola awareness event October 15 in Monrovia. The group performs street dramas throughout Monrovia to educate the public on Ebola symptoms and how to handle people who are infected with the virus.Aid workers from the Liberian Medical Renaissance League stage an Ebola awareness event October 15 in Monrovia. The group performs street dramas throughout Monrovia to educate the public on Ebola symptoms and how to handle people who are infected with the virus.
U.S. President Barack Obama speaks to the media about Ebola during a meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House on October 15. Obama said his administration will respond to new Ebola cases "in a much more aggressive way," taking charge of the issue after the second Texas nurse was diagnosed with the disease.U.S. President Barack Obama speaks to the media about Ebola during a meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House on October 15. Obama said his administration will respond to new Ebola cases “in a much more aggressive way,” taking charge of the issue after the second Texas nurse was diagnosed with the disease.
A U.S. Marine looks out from an MV-22 Osprey aircraft before landing at the site of an Ebola treatment center under construction in Tubmanburg on October 15. It is the first of 17 Ebola treatment centers to be built by Liberian army soldiers and American troops as part of the U.S. response to the epidemic.A U.S. Marine looks out from an MV-22 Osprey aircraft before landing at the site of an Ebola treatment center under construction in Tubmanburg on October 15. It is the first of 17 Ebola treatment centers to be built by Liberian army soldiers and American troops as part of the U.S. response to the epidemic.
A man dressed in protective clothing treats the front porch of a Dallas apartment where one of the infected nurses resides on Sunday, October 12.A man dressed in protective clothing treats the front porch of a Dallas apartment where one of the infected nurses resides on Sunday, October 12.
Ebola survivors prepare to leave a Doctors Without Borders treatment center after recovering from the virus in Paynesville, Liberia, on October 12.Ebola survivors prepare to leave a Doctors Without Borders treatment center after recovering from the virus in Paynesville, Liberia, on October 12.
A member of the Liberian army stands near a U.S. aircraft Saturday, October 11, in Tubmanburg.A member of the Liberian army stands near a U.S. aircraft Saturday, October 11, in Tubmanburg.
A woman crawls toward the body of her sister as a burial team takes her away for cremation Friday, October 10, in Monrovia. The sister had died from Ebola earlier in the morning while trying to walk to a treatment center, according to her relatives.A woman crawls toward the body of her sister as a burial team takes her away for cremation Friday, October 10, in Monrovia. The sister had died from Ebola earlier in the morning while trying to walk to a treatment center, according to her relatives.
Ebola survivor Joseph Yensy prepares to be discharged from the Doctors Without Borders treatment center in Paynesville, Liberia, on Sunday, October 5.Ebola survivor Joseph Yensy prepares to be discharged from the Doctors Without Borders treatment center in Paynesville, Liberia, on Sunday, October 5.
Sanitized boots dry at the Doctors Without Borders treatment center in Paynesville on October 5.Sanitized boots dry at the Doctors Without Borders treatment center in Paynesville on October 5.
Residents of an Ebola-affected township take home kits distributed by Doctors Without Borders on Saturday, October 4, in New Kru Town, Liberia. The kits, which include buckets, soap, gloves, anti-contamination gowns, plastic bags, a spray bottle and masks, are meant to give people some level of protection if a family member becomes sick.Residents of an Ebola-affected township take home kits distributed by Doctors Without Borders on Saturday, October 4, in New Kru Town, Liberia. The kits, which include buckets, soap, gloves, anti-contamination gowns, plastic bags, a spray bottle and masks, are meant to give people some level of protection if a family member becomes sick.
A person peeks out from the Dallas apartment where Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with the Ebola virus in the United States, was staying on Friday, October 3.A person peeks out from the Dallas apartment where Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with the Ebola virus in the United States, was staying on Friday, October 3.
A girl cries as community activists approach her outside her Monrovia home on Thursday, October 2, a day after her mother was taken to an Ebola ward.A girl cries as community activists approach her outside her Monrovia home on Thursday, October 2, a day after her mother was taken to an Ebola ward.
Marie Nyan, whose mother died of Ebola, carries her 2-year-old son, Nathaniel Edward, to an ambulance in the Liberian village of Freeman Reserve on Tuesday, September 30.Marie Nyan, whose mother died of Ebola, carries her 2-year-old son, Nathaniel Edward, to an ambulance in the Liberian village of Freeman Reserve on Tuesday, September 30.
A health official uses a thermometer Monday, September 29, to screen a Ukrainian crew member on the deck of a cargo ship at the Apapa port in Lagos, Nigeria.A health official uses a thermometer Monday, September 29, to screen a Ukrainian crew member on the deck of a cargo ship at the Apapa port in Lagos, Nigeria.
Children pray during Sunday service at the Bridgeway Baptist Church in Monrovia on Sunday, September 28.Children pray during Sunday service at the Bridgeway Baptist Church in Monrovia on Sunday, September 28.
Residents of the St. Paul Bridge neighborhood in Monrovia take a man suspected of having Ebola to a clinic on September 28.Residents of the St. Paul Bridge neighborhood in Monrovia take a man suspected of having Ebola to a clinic on September 28.
Workers move a building into place as part of a new Ebola treatment center in Monrovia on September 28.Workers move a building into place as part of a new Ebola treatment center in Monrovia on September 28.
Medical staff members at the Doctors Without Borders facility in Monrovia burn clothes belonging to Ebola patients on Saturday, September 27. Medical staff members at the Doctors Without Borders facility in Monrovia burn clothes belonging to Ebola patients on Saturday, September 27.
A health worker in Freetown, Sierra Leone, sprays disinfectant around the area where a man sits before loading him into an ambulance on Wednesday, September 24. A health worker in Freetown, Sierra Leone, sprays disinfectant around the area where a man sits before loading him into an ambulance on Wednesday, September 24.
Medics load an Ebola patient onto a plane at Sierra Leone's Freetown-Lungi International Airport on Monday, September 22.Medics load an Ebola patient onto a plane at Sierra Leone’s Freetown-Lungi International Airport on Monday, September 22.
A few people are seen in Freetown during a three-day nationwide lockdown on Sunday, September 21. In an attempt to curb the spread of the Ebola virus, people in Sierra Leone were told to stay in their homes.A few people are seen in Freetown during a three-day nationwide lockdown on Sunday, September 21. In an attempt to curb the spread of the Ebola virus, people in Sierra Leone were told to stay in their homes.
Supplies wait to be loaded onto an aircraft at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport on Saturday, September 20. It was the largest single shipment of aid to the Ebola zone to date, and it was coordinated by the Clinton Global Initiative and other U.S. aid organizations.Supplies wait to be loaded onto an aircraft at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport on Saturday, September 20. It was the largest single shipment of aid to the Ebola zone to date, and it was coordinated by the Clinton Global Initiative and other U.S. aid organizations.
A child stops on a Monrovia street Friday, September 12, to look at a man who is suspected of suffering from Ebola.A child stops on a Monrovia street Friday, September 12, to look at a man who is suspected of suffering from Ebola.
Health workers on Wednesday, September 10, carry the body of a woman who they suspect died from the Ebola virus in Monrovia.Health workers on Wednesday, September 10, carry the body of a woman who they suspect died from the Ebola virus in Monrovia.
A woman in Monrovia carries the belongings of her husband, who died after he was infected by the Ebola virus.A woman in Monrovia carries the belongings of her husband, who died after he was infected by the Ebola virus.
Health workers in Monrovia place a corpse into a body bag on Thursday, September 4.Health workers in Monrovia place a corpse into a body bag on Thursday, September 4.
After an Ebola case was confirmed in Senegal, people load cars with household items as they prepare to cross into Guinea from the border town of Diaobe, Senegal, on Wednesday, September 3.After an Ebola case was confirmed in Senegal, people load cars with household items as they prepare to cross into Guinea from the border town of Diaobe, Senegal, on Wednesday, September 3.
Crowds cheer and celebrate in the streets Saturday, August 30, after Liberian authorities reopened the West Point slum in Monrovia. The military had been enforcing a quarantine on West Point, fearing a spread of the Ebola virus.Crowds cheer and celebrate in the streets Saturday, August 30, after Liberian authorities reopened the West Point slum in Monrovia. The military had been enforcing a quarantine on West Point, fearing a spread of the Ebola virus.
A health worker wearing a protective suit conducts an Ebola prevention drill at the port in Monrovia on Friday, August 29. A health worker wearing a protective suit conducts an Ebola prevention drill at the port in Monrovia on Friday, August 29.
Volunteers working with the bodies of Ebola victims in Kenema, Sierra Leone, sterilize their uniforms on Sunday, August 24. Volunteers working with the bodies of Ebola victims in Kenema, Sierra Leone, sterilize their uniforms on Sunday, August 24.
A guard stands at a checkpoint Saturday, August 23, between the quarantined cities of Kenema and Kailahun in Sierra Leone.A guard stands at a checkpoint Saturday, August 23, between the quarantined cities of Kenema and Kailahun in Sierra Leone.
A burial team from the Liberian Ministry of Health unloads bodies of Ebola victims onto a funeral pyre at a crematorium in Marshall, Liberia, on Friday, August 22.A burial team from the Liberian Ministry of Health unloads bodies of Ebola victims onto a funeral pyre at a crematorium in Marshall, Liberia, on Friday, August 22.
Dr. Kent Brantly leaves Emory University Hospital on Thursday, August 21, after being declared no longer infectious from the Ebola virus. Brantly was one of two American missionaries brought to Emory for treatment of the deadly virus.Dr. Kent Brantly leaves Emory University Hospital on Thursday, August 21, after being declared no longer infectious from the Ebola virus. Brantly was one of two American missionaries brought to Emory for treatment of the deadly virus.
Family members of West Point district commissioner Miata Flowers flee the slum in Monrovia while being escorted by the Ebola Task Force on Wednesday, August 20.Family members of West Point district commissioner Miata Flowers flee the slum in Monrovia while being escorted by the Ebola Task Force on Wednesday, August 20.
An Ebola Task Force soldier beats a local resident while enforcing a quarantine on the West Point slum on August 20.An Ebola Task Force soldier beats a local resident while enforcing a quarantine on the West Point slum on August 20.
Local residents gather around a very sick Saah Exco, 10, in a back alley of the West Point slum on Tuesday, August 19. The boy was one of the patients that was pulled out of a holding center for suspected Ebola patients after the facility was overrun and closed by a mob on August 16. A local clinic then refused to treat Saah, according to residents, because of the danger of infection. Although he was never tested for Ebola, Saah's mother and brother died in the holding center.Local residents gather around a very sick Saah Exco, 10, in a back alley of the West Point slum on Tuesday, August 19. The boy was one of the patients that was pulled out of a holding center for suspected Ebola patients after the facility was overrun and closed by a mob on August 16. A local clinic then refused to treat Saah, according to residents, because of the danger of infection. Although he was never tested for Ebola, Saah’s mother and brother died in the holding center.
A burial team wearing protective clothing retrieves the body of a 60-year-old Ebola victim from his home near Monrovia on Sunday, August 17. A burial team wearing protective clothing retrieves the body of a 60-year-old Ebola victim from his home near Monrovia on Sunday, August 17.
lija Siafa, 6, stands in the rain with his 10-year-old sister, Josephine, while waiting outside Doctors Without Borders' Ebola treatment center in Monrovia on August 17. The newly built facility will initially have 120 beds, making it the largest-ever facility for Ebola treatment and isolation. lija Siafa, 6, stands in the rain with his 10-year-old sister, Josephine, while waiting outside Doctors Without Borders’ Ebola treatment center in Monrovia on August 17. The newly built facility will initially have 120 beds, making it the largest-ever facility for Ebola treatment and isolation.
Brett Adamson, a staff member from Doctors Without Borders, hands out water to sick Liberians hoping to enter the new Ebola treatment center on August 17.Brett Adamson, a staff member from Doctors Without Borders, hands out water to sick Liberians hoping to enter the new Ebola treatment center on August 17.
Workers prepare the new Ebola treatment center on August 17.Workers prepare the new Ebola treatment center on August 17.
A body, reportedly a victim of Ebola, lies on a street corner in Monrovia on Saturday, August 16. A body, reportedly a victim of Ebola, lies on a street corner in Monrovia on Saturday, August 16.
Liberian police depart after firing shots in the air while trying to protect an Ebola burial team in the West Point slum of Monrovia on August 16. A crowd of several hundred local residents reportedly drove away the burial team and their police escort. The mob then forced open an Ebola isolation ward and took patients out, saying the Ebola epidemic is a hoax.Liberian police depart after firing shots in the air while trying to protect an Ebola burial team in the West Point slum of Monrovia on August 16. A crowd of several hundred local residents reportedly drove away the burial team and their police escort. The mob then forced open an Ebola isolation ward and took patients out, saying the Ebola epidemic is a hoax.
A crowd enters the grounds of an Ebola isolation center in the West Point slum on August 16. The mob was reportedly shouting, "No Ebola in West Point."A crowd enters the grounds of an Ebola isolation center in the West Point slum on August 16. The mob was reportedly shouting, “No Ebola in West Point.”
A health worker disinfects a corpse after a man died in a classroom being used as an Ebola isolation ward Friday, August 15, in Monrovia.A health worker disinfects a corpse after a man died in a classroom being used as an Ebola isolation ward Friday, August 15, in Monrovia.
A boy tries to prepare his father before they are taken to an Ebola isolation ward August 15 in Monrovia.A boy tries to prepare his father before they are taken to an Ebola isolation ward August 15 in Monrovia.
Kenyan health officials take passengers' temperature as they arrive at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on Thursday, August 14, in Nairobi, Kenya.Kenyan health officials take passengers’ temperature as they arrive at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on Thursday, August 14, in Nairobi, Kenya.
A hearse carries the coffin of Spanish priest Miguel Pajares after he died at a Madrid hospital on Tuesday, August 12. Pajares, 75, contracted Ebola while he was working as a missionary in Liberia.A hearse carries the coffin of Spanish priest Miguel Pajares after he died at a Madrid hospital on Tuesday, August 12. Pajares, 75, contracted Ebola while he was working as a missionary in Liberia.
Health workers in Kenema screen people for the Ebola virus on Saturday, August 9, before they enter the Kenema Government Hospital.Health workers in Kenema screen people for the Ebola virus on Saturday, August 9, before they enter the Kenema Government Hospital.
Paramedics in protective suits move Pajares, the infected Spanish priest, at Carlos III Hospital in Madrid on Thursday, August 7. He died five days later.Paramedics in protective suits move Pajares, the infected Spanish priest, at Carlos III Hospital in Madrid on Thursday, August 7. He died five days later.
Nurses carry the body of an Ebola victim from a house outside Monrovia on Wednesday, August 6.Nurses carry the body of an Ebola victim from a house outside Monrovia on Wednesday, August 6.
A Nigerian health official wears protective gear August 6 at Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos.A Nigerian health official wears protective gear August 6 at Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos.
Officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta sit in on a conference call about Ebola with CDC team members deployed in West Africa on Tuesday, August 5.Officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta sit in on a conference call about Ebola with CDC team members deployed in West Africa on Tuesday, August 5.
Aid worker Nancy Writebol, wearing a protective suit, gets wheeled on a gurney into Emory University Hospital in Atlanta on August 5. A medical plane flew Writebol from Liberia to the United States after she and her colleague Dr. Kent Brantly were infected with the Ebola virus in the West African country. Aid worker Nancy Writebol, wearing a protective suit, gets wheeled on a gurney into Emory University Hospital in Atlanta on August 5. A medical plane flew Writebol from Liberia to the United States after she and her colleague Dr. Kent Brantly were infected with the Ebola virus in the West African country.
Nigerian health officials are on hand to screen passengers at Murtala Muhammed International Airport on Monday, August 4.Nigerian health officials are on hand to screen passengers at Murtala Muhammed International Airport on Monday, August 4.
Nurses wearing protective clothing are sprayed with disinfectant Friday, August 1, in Monrovia after they prepared the bodies of Ebola victims for burial.Nurses wearing protective clothing are sprayed with disinfectant Friday, August 1, in Monrovia after they prepared the bodies of Ebola victims for burial.
A nurse disinfects the waiting area at the ELWA Hospital in Monrovia on Monday, July 28. A nurse disinfects the waiting area at the ELWA Hospital in Monrovia on Monday, July 28.
In this photo provided by Samaritan's Purse, Dr. Kent Brantly, left, treats an Ebola patient in Monrovia. On July 26, the North Carolina-based group said Brantly tested positive for the disease. Days later, Brantly arrived in Georgia to be treated at an Atlanta hospital, becoming the first Ebola patient to knowingly be treated in the United States.In this photo provided by Samaritan’s Purse, Dr. Kent Brantly, left, treats an Ebola patient in Monrovia. On July 26, the North Carolina-based group said Brantly tested positive for the disease. Days later, Brantly arrived in Georgia to be treated at an Atlanta hospital, becoming the first Ebola patient to knowingly be treated in the United States.
A doctor puts on protective gear at the treatment center in Kailahun on Sunday, July 20.A doctor puts on protective gear at the treatment center in Kailahun on Sunday, July 20.
Members of Doctors Without Borders adjust tents in the isolation area in Kailahun on July 20.Members of Doctors Without Borders adjust tents in the isolation area in Kailahun on July 20.
Boots dry in the Ebola treatment center in Kailahun on July 20.Boots dry in the Ebola treatment center in Kailahun on July 20.
Dr. Jose Rovira of the World Health Organization takes a swab from a suspected Ebola victim in Pendembu, Sierra Leone, on Friday, July 18.Dr. Jose Rovira of the World Health Organization takes a swab from a suspected Ebola victim in Pendembu, Sierra Leone, on Friday, July 18.
Red Cross volunteers disinfect each other with chlorine after removing the body of an Ebola victim from a house in Pendembu on July 18.Red Cross volunteers disinfect each other with chlorine after removing the body of an Ebola victim from a house in Pendembu on July 18.
A doctor works in the field laboratory at the Ebola treatment center in Kailahun on Thursday, July 17.A doctor works in the field laboratory at the Ebola treatment center in Kailahun on Thursday, July 17.
Doctors Without Borders staff prepare to enter the isolation ward at an Ebola treatment center in Kailahun on July 17.Doctors Without Borders staff prepare to enter the isolation ward at an Ebola treatment center in Kailahun on July 17.
Dr. Mohamed Vandi of the Kenema Government Hospital trains community volunteers who will aim to educate people about Ebola in Sierra Leone.Dr. Mohamed Vandi of the Kenema Government Hospital trains community volunteers who will aim to educate people about Ebola in Sierra Leone.
A woman has her temperature taken at a screening checkpoint on the road out of Kenema on Wednesday, July 9.A woman has her temperature taken at a screening checkpoint on the road out of Kenema on Wednesday, July 9.
A member of Doctors Without Borders puts on protective gear at the isolation ward of the Donka Hospital in Conakry on Saturday, June 28.A member of Doctors Without Borders puts on protective gear at the isolation ward of the Donka Hospital in Conakry on Saturday, June 28.
Airport employees check passengers in Conakry before they leave the country on Thursday, April 10.Airport employees check passengers in Conakry before they leave the country on Thursday, April 10.
A Guinea-Bissau customs official watches arrivals from Conakry on Tuesday, April 8.A Guinea-Bissau customs official watches arrivals from Conakry on Tuesday, April 8.
Egidia Almeida, a nurse in Guinea-Bissau, scans a Guinean citizen coming from Conakry on April 8. Egidia Almeida, a nurse in Guinea-Bissau, scans a Guinean citizen coming from Conakry on April 8.
A scientist separates blood cells from plasma cells to isolate any Ebola RNA and test for the virus Thursday, April 3, at the European Mobile Laboratory in Gueckedou, Guinea.A scientist separates blood cells from plasma cells to isolate any Ebola RNA and test for the virus Thursday, April 3, at the European Mobile Laboratory in Gueckedou, Guinea.
Health specialists work Monday, March 31, at an isolation ward for patients at the facility in southern Guinea.Health specialists work Monday, March 31, at an isolation ward for patients at the facility in southern Guinea.
Photos: The Ebola epidemicPhotos: The Ebola epidemic

The two went out on a bike ride Thursday, trailed by a police cruiser and journalists.

“If anyone in the community might have noticed, we went bicycling that way. We did not go into town,” Wilbur told the affiliate.

He said they are not trying to cause trouble and want the community to feel at ease.

“We did not go into the grocery store. We are not trying to get anyone sick,” he said. “We don’t believe that we can get anyone sick. We’re not trying to push any limits here. We’re members of this community too, and we want to make everyone feel comfortable.”

Hickox’s quarantine was scheduled to end on November 10.

Governor: Her safety is a concern

Maine Gov. Paul LePage said venturing away from her house jeopardizes Hickox’s safety.

“The reason there’s a police car there when she does that is to protect her, more than anybody. ‘Cause the last thing I want is for her to get hurt,” he said. “But at the same token, her behavior is really riling a lot of people up, and I can only do what I can do. And we’re trying to protect her, but she’s not acting as smart as she probably should.”

At first, Maine officials said they wanted her to remain at home for 21 days. Then, they’ve said they wanted Hickox — who has twice tested negative for Ebola and says she feels healthy — to avoid public places during that time.

Making a point with bike ride

Hickox has said state officials are the ones being unreasonable. She contends the U.S. Constitution and science are on her side.

“I’m fighting for something much more than myself,” she said. “There are so many aid workers coming back. It scares me to think how they’re going to be treated and how they’re going to feel.”

Hickox has said she’s willing to compromise with the state, and she’s open to restrictions barring her from public transportation and limiting her to Fort Kent, a town of 4,000 on the Canadian border.

Siegel, her attorney, said the couple went for the bike ride to highlight that she could be out in public without interacting with people.

New Jersey incident

When she returned from a month working with Doctors Without Borders in Sierra Leone last week, Hickox had an elevated temperature at an airport in Newark, New Jersey, officials said. She was put into an isolation tent.

She blasted New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie for enforcing a new policy that required anyone showing symptoms of Ebola, including an elevated temperature, to be isolated.

Complete coverage on Ebola

CNN’s Sarah Jorgensen, Alexandra Field, Jean Casarez, Steve Kastenbaum and Greg Botelho contributed to this report.

Ebola Virus Disease Electron Micrograph

Maine Judge Rejects Ebola Quarantine for Nurse

This article was originally published on this site

A judge in Maine ruled Friday that Kaci Hickox, the nurse who treated Ebola patients and defied a state-imposed quarantine, can come and go as she pleases, as long as she is monitored for symptoms and lets health officials know where she’s going.

The same judge had issued a temporary order on Thursday night ordering Hickox to stay at least three feet away from other people and to stay away from crowds and public transportation.

But the judge, Charles C. LaVerdiere of state court, lifted those parts of the order on Friday. He found that authorities in Maine had not proved that restricting Hickox’s movement was necessary to protect the public from infection. He said that his order was pending a further hearing.

Hickox said the decision showed America was “on the right track” because “now we’re discussing, as a nation, about this disease.”

“I am humbled today by the judge’s decision, and even more humbled by the support that we have received from the town of Fort Kent, the state of Maine, across the U.S. and even across the globe,” Hickox said.

She announced no plans beyond staying in to watch a Halloween movie with her boyfriend on Friday night.

“Ebola is a scary disease. I have seen it face-to-face, and I know that we are nowhere near winning this battle,” she said. She said it would only be won “as we gain a better understanding about Ebola and public health, as we overcome the fear, and most importantly as we end the outbreak that is still going on in West Africa today.”

Hickox’s lawyer, Norman Siegel said he was “pleased” with LaVerdiere’s decision, and hopes other leaders would learn from it. Siegel said the decision indicated that protocols in place for Ebola health care workers in other states “were not based on medical fact and science, but were based on myth and fear.”

“Kudos to judge Charles LaVerdiere,”Siegel added.

But Gov. Paul LePage said the judge had put Hickox’s rights ahead of public safety.

“We don’t know what we don’t know about Ebola,” he told reporters. He said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “has been totally wrong.”

He also expressed frustration with how Hickox has handled herself: “I don’t trust her, and I don’t trust that we know enough about this disease to be so callous.”

Hickox said Friday night that she found LePage’s comments “interesting.” She said she would adhere to the system of monitoring her health and wouldn’t do anything to “create more fear” in the community. “With direct active monitoring we can catch cases and still keep the public safe. I don’t think it needs to come down to trust,” she said.

The nurse returned from Africa a week ago. She has maintained that authorities in Maine violated her rights by demanding that she stay at home for 21 days. She took a defiant bike ride on Thursday, and LePage said she was testing his patience.

The judge said Hickox must submit to what health officials call direct active monitoring — having her temperature taken and being checked for symptoms at least once a day. But he stressed that she has no symptoms and is therefore not infectious.

The nurse spent last weekend in an isolation tent near the airport in Newark, New Jersey. She objected to the conditions and had a public spat with Gov. Chris Christie, who dared her to sue him.

The judge in Maine gave her a gentle rebuke in his ruling.

“The court is fully aware that people are acting out of fear and that this fear is not entirely rational,” he wrote. “However, whether that fear is rational or not, it is present and it is real.

“Respondent’s actions at this point, as a health care professional, need to demonstrate her full understanding of human nature and the real fear that exist. She should guide herself accordingly.”

Hickox said she understood the sentiment.

“I’m a nurse and a public health worker,” she said. “I don’t want to make people uncomfortable.”

First published October 31 2014, 6:50 AM

Stephanie Gosk

Stephanie Gosk was named NBC News correspondent in September 2006. Gosk is based in New York City and contributes to “Nightly News with Brian Williams,†“TODAY,†and MSNBC.

Until September of 2012, Gosk was based out of NBC News’ London bureau where she covered the death of Osama Bin Laden from Pakistan and the Arab Spring from Libya and Egypt in 2011. Most recently, Gosk reported on the conflict in Gaza, Hurricane Sandy, and the 2012 London Summer Olympics.

Prior to joining NBC News, Gosk served as a London-based correspondent and producer for ABC News, since 2003. Gosk traveled to Iraq and contributed both live and taped reports while embedded with United States troops in Iraq. She also produced various news events including the death of Pope John Paul and Hurricane Katrina.

From 2001 to 2003, Gosk was a producer for ABC News based in Boston, MA. While there, Gosk traveled to Iraq and worked alone to shoot, produce and report pieces for “Good Morning America†and “World News Tonight†while embedded with the United States military. She also produced Boston-area coverage of the 9/11 attacks and the Boston Catholic priest scandal.

Gosk began her career as a desk assistant and off-air producer for ABC News in New York City. She field produced major breaking news stories including the 2000 election campaign.

Gosk earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Georgetown University. After college, Gosk traveled to the Dominican Republic as a Peace Corps volunteer.

… Expand Bio

HT_Kaci_Hickox_ml_141031_16x9_992

What Kaci Hickox Has to Say About Court???s Quarantine Decision

This article was originally published on this site
 Nurse Kaci Hickox speaks to the press, Oct. 31, 2014 in Fort Kent, Maine.

ABC News

A nurse who fought quarantine rules after returning from treating Ebola patients in West Africa said a court ruling in her favor today will ensure that other health care workers returning from Africa are given “human treatment.”

“I am humbled today by the judge’s decision and even more humbled by the support that we have received by the town of Fort Kent, the state of Maine, across the United States and even across the border,” Hickox, 33, told reporters today from her home in Fort Kent.

A judge in Maine this morning ruled that Hickox could leave her home and spend time in public spaces despite other state officials’ attempts to force her into a mandatory quarantine until a 21-day potential Ebola incubation period ends.

The judge noted in his ruling that although the state’s fears may be irrational, they are real and Hickox should be mindful of them.

“I know Ebola is a scary disease,” Hickox said today. “I have seen it face-to-face.”

Maine Gov. Paul LePage attempted to force Hickox to take a blood test for Ebola to prove she doesn’t have the deadly virus. Hickox tested negative for Ebola twice in New Jersey and experts have said a person must be symptomatic to test positive. Hickox has not shown any Ebola symptoms, she said.

Hickox had been treating patients in Sierra Leone with Doctors Without Borders before she returned to the United States and landed in Newark Liberty International airport a week ago. Upon landing, she was questioned for six hours and quarantined in an isolation tent through the weekend.

It was from the isolation tent that she called New York lawyers Norman Siegel and Steven Hyman. She said Seigel picked up the phone and the first words out of his mouth were, “Kaci, how are you?”

“From that moment, I knew I wasn’t alone,” Hickox said via Skype during a press conference this evening.

On Monday, she was allowed to drive home to Maine. Once there, officials first suggested a voluntary quarantine and then sought to legally enforce it.

But Hickox said she wouldn’t comply because the quarantine rules weren’t “scientifically valid.” She said she fought the quarantine for all the other health workers expected to return from West Africa in the coming weeks.

The Centers for Disease Control doesn’t require quarantines for returning health workers who wear protective gear because they can’t spread the virus unless they are symptomatic for Ebola and others come into contact with their bodily fluids.

According to the judge’s order, Hickox will need to agree to active monitoring and coordinate her travel with health authorities. She must also report any symptoms she experiences to public health authorities.

A hearing has been scheduled for Tuesday, which is Election Day, but government offices are still open in Maine, Hickox’s lawyers said.

Hickox said she planned to spend Halloween evening eating her boyfriend’s cooking and watching a scary movie. She said she won’t be able to take trick-or-treaters because she hasn’t been able to buy candy.

This evening, Hickox reiterated that she fought the quarantine for her fellow public health workers.

“I hope that one day if I can meet some of them at the airport, I can give them a big hug and let them know that we are in this together,” she said, adding that she hopes “science and public health” can again be the focus of the Ebola outbreak, rather than politics.

Ebola Virus Disease Electron Micrograph

Oregon resident hospitalized for possible Ebola virus infection

This article was originally published on this site

(Reuters) – An Oregon woman being monitored for possible Ebola infection has been hospitalized after registering a high temperature, state health officials said on Friday.

 

The woman, who was being monitored after traveling to an Ebola-affected country, has been placed in isolation and is not a danger to the public, the Oregon Health Authority said.

 

The worst outbreak of the disease on record has killed nearly 5,000 people, all but a handful in the impoverished West African countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

 

The Oregon isolation comes as a judge rejected Maine’s bid for a quarantine on a nurse who treated victims of the disease in West Africa but tested negative for it. The judge instead imposed limited restrictions.

 

Also on Friday the Pentagon said that civilian U.S. defense employees returning from Ebola relief work in West Africa must undergo monitoring to ensure they are free of disease but can choose between following civil health guidelines or the stricter military regimen.

 

(Reporting by Courtney Sherwood in Portland, Oregon; Writing by Eric M. Johnson in Seattle; Editing by Bill Trott and Eric Beech)

 

Ebola Virus Disease Electron Micrograph

Canada restricts visas amid Ebola scare

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TORONTO (AP) — Canada has joined Australia in suspending entry visas for people from Ebola-stricken countries in West Africa in an attempt to keep the deadly disease away.

Canada’s Conservative government said Friday it is suspending visa applications for residents and nationals of countries with “widespread and persistent-intense transmission” of Ebola virus disease.

Canada has not yet had a case of Ebola. Canadians, including health-care workers, in West Africa will be permitted to travel back to Canada, the government said.

The countries most severely hit by the worst Ebola outbreak ever are Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. Canada receives very few travelers from those countries, which have no direct flights to Canada.

A similar move by Australia was slammed Wednesday by Dr. Margaret Chan, the World Health Organization’s director general, who said closing borders won’t stop spread of the Ebola virus.

Canadian Health Minister Rona Ambrose said in a statement the “number one priority is to protect Canadians.” Canadian Immigration Minister Jason Alexander said the government would act in the “best interests of Canadians.”

Kevin Menard, a spokesman for Alexander, said the move is similar to but a bit less restrictive than the one the Australian government announced this week. He later called it “considerably different.”

“We have instituted a pause, but there is room for discretion and if we can be assured that someone is not infected with Ebola,” Menard said in an email after declining to comment on the phone. He said the government was “doing anything we can to keep Ebola from coming to Canada.”

Nancy Caron, a spokesman for Citizenship and Immigration Canada, said that “a number of African countries have imposed stricter travel bans as have several other countries around the world. Other countries such as the United States have started to place restrictions on travelers from countries with Ebola outbreaks.”

The government said Canadian citizens or foreign nationals with a visa and foreign nationals who do not require visas will continue to be screened at ports of entry in Canada and will be subject to appropriate health screening.

Declining to criticize the move, an Obama administration official said Friday that Canada remains an important partner in the effort to stop Ebola. The official was not authorized to discuss diplomatic relations by name and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Stephane Dujarric, a spokesman for the United Nations secretary-general, said the world body welcomed Canada’s support in fighting the Ebola outbreak but also advocated “against isolating the three most impacted countries and stigmatizing its citizens.”

David Fidler, an international law professor at Indiana University, said the moves by Canada and Australia place both countries in violation of the International Health Regulations, a 2005 World Health Organization treaty to which both are signatories.

The treaty “just seems to be disintegrating in this Ebola panic,” Fidler said. “And to have countries like Australia and Canada be in the forefront of this is even more disheartening,” he said, because they had been supportive of the international treaty meant to prevent panic during such a health crisis.

New Democrat Libby Davies of the Canadian opposition also criticized the visa ban, citing criticism by the World Health Organization and the World Bank and questioning the announcement’s timing.

“Sending this announcement on a Friday afternoon only worsens concerns that this policy is a public relations exercise, and irresponsibly ignorant of what health experts have advised,” she said.?

The International Health Regulations are designed to help the world fight infectious disease outbreaks that have the potential for international spread. They were revised and strengthened in the wake of the 2003 SARS outbreak.

The 2003 outbreak in Asia and Canada of SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, led the World Health Organization to issue travel advisories directing people around the world to avoid places battling severe outbreaks. Ontario’s then health minister, Tony Clement — now a federal cabinet minister— was among those incensed by the WHO’s move. Clement led a delegation to Geneva to successfully demand the WHO rescind the travel advisory against Toronto.

Health officials say that more than 13,700 people have been sickened by Ebola, and nearly 5,000 have died. The hardest hit countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea have resorted to extraordinary measures to combat it.

Canada has donated 800 vials of an experimental Ebola vaccine to WHO.

The vaccine, developed by the Public Health Agency of Canada and known as VSV-EBOV, has been sent to the U.S. Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Maryland for testing on healthy volunteers, with preliminary results about its safety expected by December. The next stage would be to test it more broadly, including among those directly handling Ebola cases in West Africa.

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Associated Press reporters Darlene Superville in Washington and Cara Anna at the United Nations contributed to this report.