Ebola nurse released from quarantine

Ebola nurse released from quarantine

A nurse who says she defied quarantine on behalf of all healthcare workers returning from fighting Ebola in west Africa is clear and free to begin the next chapter of her life.

The 21-day incubation period is now behind her, and Kaci Hickox and her boyfriend are moving from Fort Kent on the Canadian border to southern Maine.

Ms Hickox said they decided to move when boyfriend Ted Wilbur withdrew from the University of Maine at Fort Kent.

They have been critical of university officials, accusing them of forcing him to stay away from campus where he was a senior nursing student.

Maine health officials went to court in an attempt to bar Ms Hickox from crowded public places and require her to stay at least three feet from other people until the 21-day incubation period for Ebola was up but the judge turned the state down.

State governor Paul LePage said he disagreed with the ruling but would abide by it.

Ms Hickox appeared on TV going out for a cycle ride pursued by the media.

She now says she is considering returning to college and she would also return to west Africa “in a heartbeat”.

A New York City accident and emergency doctor who had Ebola has also recovered and is due to be released from hospital.

Craig Spencer “has been declared free of the virus”, health officials said.

Dr Spencer tested positive on October 23, days after returning from treating patients in Guinea with Doctors Without Borders.

The 33-year-old has been treated in a specially-designed isolation unit at Manhattan’s Bellevue Hospital, a designated Ebola treatment centre. His condition was upgraded from serious to stable last week and he was feeling well enough to request an exercise bike and a banjo.

His fiancee and two friends were initially quarantined but were released and are being actively monitored along with hundreds of others.

News of his infection set many New Yorkers on edge, particularly after details emerged that he took trains on the underground, dined in a restaurant and visited a bowling alley in the days before he tested positive.

New York governor Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey governor Chris Christie responded by announcing a mandatory 21-day quarantine for travellers who have come into close contact with Ebola patients.

Health officials have stressed that Ebola is not airborne and can only be spread through direct contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person who is showing symptoms.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Mr Cuomo had urged residents not to be alarmed by the doctor’s Ebola diagnosis, even as they described him using the subway and taking a cab. Mr de Blasio said all city officials followed “clear and strong” protocols in their handling and treatment of him.

“We want to state at the outset that New Yorkers have no reason to be alarmed,” he said when Dr Spencer was diagnosed. “New Yorkers who have not been exposed are not at all at risk.”

The Ebola epidemic in west Africa has killed thousands of people, but only a handful have been diagnosed in the United States.

In the US, the first person diagnosed with the disease was a Liberian man who fell ill days after arriving in Dallas and later died, becoming the only fatality. None of his relatives who had close contact with him became sick. Two nurses who treated him were infected and were briefly treated in hospital.

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