Ebola Virus Disease Electron Micrograph

No quarantine for Ebola nurse

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

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

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

 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

(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

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.

___

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

Younger people are more likely to survive Ebola than those over 45

  • 47 health workers at Kenema Government Hospital in Sierra Leone conducted comprehensive study of Ebola patients
  • Seven of the team died during study – six from the virus
  • They found age is a key factor establishing the fatality rate for over 45s is 94% while for those aged up to 21 is 57%
  • Study is significant because it adds new knowledge of the virus
  • From Ebola’s discovery in 1976 there were just 25 outbreaks in 37 years, killing around 1,500 people
  • As a result in comparison to other viruses relatively little reliable data existed for scientists trying to understand the disease 
  • Study found incubation period was six to 12 days and if those patients who suffered weakness, dizziness and diarrhoea were more likely to die 

By

Lizzie Parry for MailOnline

Published:
08:10 EST, 31 October 2014

Updated:
16:33 EST, 31 October 2014

The deadly Ebola virus is more likely to claim the lives of those aged 45 or older, scientists have claimed.

A new study carried out in Sierra Leone – one of the West African nations worst hit during the outbreak – has produced the most complete picture to date of how the virus affects sufferers.

From its discovery in the north eastern region of Zaire in 1976, the deadly virus has proved hard to track.

Until the death of a two-year-old in Guinea in December last year sparked the largest outbreak in Ebola’s history, there had been just 1,500 deaths during 25 outbreaks spanning 37 years.

As a result, and in comparison to other deadly viruses, relatively little data on the virus existed.

A new study carried out by health workers and scientists at Sierra Leone’s Kenema Government Hospital, has found the fatality rate for those aged 45 or older is 94 per cent

Forty-seven doctors and nurses collated the information while caring for 106 patients at Kenema Government Hospital, pictured, in Sierra Leone - one of the nations hardest hit by the Ebola outbreak

Forty-seven doctors and nurses collated the information while caring for 106 patients at Kenema Government Hospital, pictured, in Sierra Leone – one of the nations hardest hit by the Ebola outbreak

Health workers working with the bodies of Ebola victims at Kenema Hospital in Sierra Leone

Health workers working with the bodies of Ebola victims at Kenema Hospital in Sierra Leone

A volunteer medical team carry the body of a victim during the burial of seven people who died from Ebola in Kenema

A volunteer medical team carry the body of a victim during the burial of seven people who died from Ebola in Kenema

The team's work found the younger a patient is the more likely they are to survive, fever is the most common symptom when victims first seek care, and early medical help is crucial. Pictured, health workers carry the body of a victim in Sierra Leone's capital, Freetown

The team’s work found the younger a patient is the more likely they are to survive, fever is the most common symptom when victims first seek care, and early medical help is crucial. Pictured, health workers carry the body of a victim in Sierra Leone’s capital, Freetown

The team tasked with discovering Ebola in 1976, led by Professor Peter Piot, took detailed notes of their findings.

But in the central African nations plagued by the virus there commonly lacked a standardised procedure for taking medical notes.

What scientists know often came from informal doctors’ notes, charting incomplete recollections of the virus’ effect on patients.

No medical records or charts were in place to note patients’ symptoms, vital signs and treatment.

KEY FINDINGS OF THE STUDY

The team’s work found the younger a patient is the more likely they are to survive, fever is the most common symptom when victims first seek care, and early medical help is crucial.

The fatality rate for patients under 21 was 57 per cent, while for those aged 45 and older, mortality soared to 94 per cent.

One striking finding was how devastating the severe diarrhoea, a symptom of the disease, is for patients.

The report, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, estimated the incubation period of the patients they examined was six to 12 days – similar to that seen during the outbreak.

Fever was the most common symptom reported by patients with 80 per cent suffering a raised temperature,

The study found the higher the temperature recorded on admission to hospital, the more likely patients were to die from Ebola.

Eighty per cent of patients suffered a headache, 66 per cent noted weakness, 60 per cent suffered dizziness, 51 per cent diarrhoea, 40 per cent abdominal pain and 34 per cent suffered vomiting.

Only one patient was found to suffer internal bleeding – one of the most deadly symptoms.

There was no way of recording accurate death rates.

But at the Kenema Government Hospital in Sierra Leone for the last 10 years, a team of US scientists has been working with staff and the country’s health department to establish a new medical records system.

It was introduced to help patients suffering Lassa fever, Time reports.

But when the Ebola outbreak reached Sierra Leone’s third largest city in May this year, the system in place began to collate the most comprehensive set of data ever collected on the virus.

The findings, published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine, have added to knowledge of the disease.

According to the World Health Organisation, the virus has so far claimed almost 5,000 lives.

In Sierra Leone there have been 5,235 confirmed, probable and suspected cases of the disease, of 13,703 across the world, while 1,500 people have died.

Forty-seven doctors and nurses collated the information while caring for 106 patients at Kenema Government Hospital in Sierra Leone – one of the nations hardest hit by the Ebola outbreak.

Seven of the health workers conducting the research died – six from Ebola, while one suffered a stroke.

Among them was Dr Sheik Humarr Khan, the doctor hailed a hero by his government having led Sierra Leone’s fight against the virus until his death in July.

According to the World Health Organisation, the virus, pictured under the microscope, has so far claimed almost 5,000 lives.

According to the World Health Organisation, the virus, pictured under the microscope, has so far claimed almost 5,000 lives.

In Sierra Leone there have been 5,235 confirmed, probable and suspected cases of the disease, from 13,703 across the world, while 1,500 people have died

In Sierra Leone there have been 5,235 confirmed, probable and suspected cases of the disease, from 13,703 across the world, while 1,500 people have died

Dr Sheik Humarr Khan, the doctor hailed a hero by his government having led Sierra Leone's fight against the virus, died conducting the study in July

Dr Sheik Humarr Khan, the doctor hailed a hero by his government having led Sierra Leone’s fight against the virus, died conducting the study in July

The team’s work found the younger a patient is the more likely they are to survive, fever is the most common symptom when victims first seek care, and early medical help is crucial.

Dr John Schieffelin, an infectious diseases specialist at Tulane University in the US, said the findings highlight the advantage of youth.

The fatality rate for patients under 21 was 57 per cent, while for those aged 45 and older, mortality soared to 94 per cent.

Dr Schieffelin said: ‘They’re more resilient and younger and tougher.

‘This is definitely the most detailed analysis of symptoms and factors related to survival,’ he added.

One striking finding was how devastating the severe diarrhoea, a symptom of the disease, is for patients.

‘If you can keep up with simple hydration during that phase, you can prevent a lot of deaths,’ Dr. Bruce Farber, chief of infectious diseases at North Shore University Hospital, New York, told CBS News.

Basic supportive health care, providing intravenous fluids and nutrients, and maintaining a patient’s blood pressure can be the difference between life and death.

Of the 213 people initially tested for signs of haemorrhagic fever, around half – 106 patients – were diagnosed with the disease.

An Ebola checkpoint in Sierra Leone, where Oxfam is providing handwashing facilities and electronic thermometers. Individuals are stopped, have their temperature taken and if they are older than 38 and have signs of a fever they are taken to a holding centre for diagnosis

An Ebola checkpoint in Sierra Leone, where Oxfam is providing handwashing facilities and electronic thermometers. Individuals are stopped, have their temperature taken and if they are older than 38 and have signs of a fever they are taken to a holding centre for diagnosis

The report, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, estimated the incubation period of the patients they examined was six to 12 days - similar to that seen during the outbreak 

The report, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, estimated the incubation period of the patients they examined was six to 12 days – similar to that seen during the outbreak

The report, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, estimated the incubation period of the patients they examined was six to 12 days – similar to that seen during the outbreak.

The World Health Organisation advises the incubation period can range from two to 21 days.

Fever was the most common symptom reported by patients with 80 per cent suffering a raised temperature,

The study found the higher the temperature recorded on admission to hospital the more likely patients were to die from Ebola.

Eighty per cent of patients suffered a headache, 66 per cent noted weakness, 60 per cent suffered dizziness, 51 per cent diarrhoea, 40 per cent abdominal pain and 34 per cent suffered vomiting.

Only one patient was found to suffer internal bleeding – one of the most deadly symptoms – but researchers said some other cases may have been missed as a result of incomplete record-keeping.

The study found patients suffering weakness, dizziness and diarrhoea were more likely to die.

 

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Ebola Virus Disease Electron Micrograph

Canada imposes visa ban on three Ebola-hit countries

Passengers make their way in a security checkpoint at the International JFK airport in New York October 11, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Eduardo Munoz

 

(Reuters) – Canada will stop issuing visas to people from the three West African nations where Ebola is widespread, the government said on Friday.

 

The federal citizenship ministry, explaining the move, said in an official document that “the introduction or spread of the disease would pose an imminent and severe risk to public health”.

 

About 5,000 people have died in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone this year in the worst Ebola outbreak on record. Fears rose that the disease could spread beyond the region after a few cases were diagnosed in Spain and the United States.

 

Canada, which has not reported any cases of Ebola, is following in the footsteps of Australia, which on Tuesday became the first rich nation to issue such a ban. The country’s official in charge of the response to Ebola said the move was medically unjustified.

 

Under the new regulations, which come into force immediately, Canada will not process visa applications from foreign nationals who have been in an Ebola-affected country within the previous three months.

 

U.S. President Barack Obama is so far resisting pressure to impose similar travel restrictions.

 

The Conservative government’s decision drew fire from Canada’s official opposition New Democratic Party.

 

“The experts we’re relying on to fight Ebola are saying this is not the right approach,” the party’s health critic Libby Davies said in a statement.

 

Codie Taylor, the chief spokeswoman for Immigration Minister Chris Alexander, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

 

(Reporting by David Ljunggren and Jeffrey Hodgson; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli and Grant McCool)

 

Ebola death toll rises, fewer cases in Guinea than thought, WHO says

A billboard with a message about Ebola is seen on a street in Conakry, Guinea October 26, 2014. The U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, is traveling to Guinea on Sunday and will also visit Liberia and Sierra Leone, making the trip despite calls by some U.S. lawmakers for a travel ban on the three West African countries worst-affected by Ebola. (REUTERS/Michelle Nichols)

The Ebola epidemic has killed 4,951 people out of 13,567 infected in eight countries, the World Health Organization said on Friday, slightly revising downwards its figures for cases mainly due to “suspected cases in Guinea being discarded”.

The toll reflects a rise of 31 deaths since the United Nations agency reported its previous figures on Wednesday, while the number of overall cases fell by 136.

 “Of the eight Guinean and Liberian districts that share a border with Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), only one in Guinea is yet to report a confirmed or probable case of Ebola virus disease,” the WHO warned in the statement.

Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone account for the bulk of infections of the deadly hemorrhagic fever, but there have been sporadic cases in Nigeria and Senegal, both now declared Ebola-free, as well as Spain, the United States and Mali.

A 2-year-old girl who brought Ebola to Mali may have had contact with up to 141 people, 57 of whom have yet to be traced, according to experts from the WHO and U.S. Centers for Disease Control concerned it could spread in Mali and beyond.

Liberia, the worst-hit country, may be seeing a decline in the spread of the virus, though the battle to contain the outbreak is far from won, the WHO said on Wednesday.

All 83 contacts of a health care worker in Spain infected with Ebola have completed a first 21-day incubation period for the virus, but a second one must follow before the country can be declared free of the disease, the WHO said on Friday. The nurse treated two Spanish priests repatriated from Liberia and Sierra Leone who later died.

Ebola Virus Disease Electron Micrograph

Judge rejects attempt to isolate nurse

FORT KENT, Maine (AP) — A Maine judge gave nurse Kaci Hickox the OK to go wherever she pleases, handing state officials a defeat Friday 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 that 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.

___

Associated Press writers David Sharp and Patrick Whittle in Portland contributed to this story.

Ebola Virus Disease Electron Micrograph

Judge rejects attempt to isolate nurse

FORT KENT, Maine (AP) — A Maine judge gave nurse Kaci Hickox the OK to go wherever she pleases, handing state officials a defeat Friday 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 that 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.

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Associated Press writers David Sharp and Patrick Whittle in Portland contributed to this story.