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The nurse who was quarantined at a New Jersey hospital despite exhibiting no Ebola symptoms after arriving from West Africa, won't follow the quarantine imposed by Maine officials, her attorney said on Tuesday night. Kaci Hickox insists that she is not under quarantine and has said she is seeking time to decompress at an undisclosed location in the state. 'Going forward she does not intend to abide by the quarantine imposed by Maine officials because she is not a risk to others,' her attorney Steven Hyman said.
Health care professionals treating patients with this illness have learned that transmission arises from contact with bodily fluids of a person who is symptomatic — that is, has a fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and malaise. We have very strong reason to believe that transmission occurs when the viral load in bodily fluids is high, on the order of millions of virions per microliter. This recognition has led to the dictum that an asymptomatic person is not contagious; field experience in West Africa has shown that conclusion to be valid. Therefore, an asymptomatic health care worker returning from treating patients with Ebola, even if he or she were infected, would not be contagious. Furthermore, we now know that fever precedes the contagious stage, allowing workers who are unknowingly infected to identify themselves before they become a threat to their community. This understanding is based on more than clinical observation: the sensitive blood polymerase-chain-reaction (PCR) test for Ebola is often negative on the day when fever or other symptoms begin and only becomes reliably positive 2 to 3 days after symptom onset. This point is supported by the fact that of the nurses caring for Thomas Eric Duncan, the man who died from Ebola virus disease in Texas in October, only those who cared for him at the end of his life, when the number of virions he was shedding was likely to be very high, became infected. Notably, Duncan's family members who were living in the same household for days as he was at the start of his illness did not become infected.
originally posted by: dianajune
a reply to: Ellie Sagan
Her arrogance really bothers me. What makes her so freaking special that the rules JUST DO NOT apply to her? I don't care if she will continue to self-monitor. That's not the point. Some people can be asymptomatic AND be able to infect others.
If she truly believes she poses no danger to the public whatsoever, why does she - as this report indicates - have to go to an undisclosed location? It's not like she's the POTUS.
I hope some enterprising reporter does some investigating and finds out where she's holing up. The people in that state have the right to know her whereabouts due to the nature of this disease.
Mary Mallon (September 23, 1869 – November 11, 1938), better known as Typhoid Mary, was the first person in the United States identified as an asymptomatic carrier of the pathogen associated with typhoid fever. She was presumed to have infected 53 people, three of whom died, over the course of her career as a cook. She was twice forcibly isolated by public health authorities and died after a total of nearly three decades in isolation.
A New York Times reporter tweeted a photo of Hickox sleeping on a couch at an undisclosed location in Maine. The tweet included a quote from Hickox’s boyfriend, Ted Wilbur, that said she was getting “finally a bit of well-deserved rest after such a long ordeal.”
Hickox’s plans to return home to Fort Kent changed after she was released on Monday and learned media from across the country had descended on the picturesque town near the Canadian border to await her arrival, Raymond Phinney, the associate dean of student life and development at the University of Maine at Fort Kent, said Tuesday morning. Wilbur, Hickox’s boyfriend, is a nursing student at the school.
University officials announced Monday that if Wilbur had been in direct contact with Hickox since she was released from quarantine in New Jersey, he would not be allowed back on campus until he also had cleared health checks. University officials learned Monday night that Wilbur would not return to campus until after the 21-day incubation period. “Our conversation has been that he will be participating in the 21-day quarantine as well, so he will not be on campus,” Phinney, the associate dean, said in his office at the university. He said the school would have a campus meeting at some point but he did not know when. Students at the university campus said Monday that some classmates were panicked by the possibility that Wilbur might return to campus after being in contact with Hickox, and some vowed to boycott classes if Wilbur did return.