Monday, October 27, 2014

Ebola Nurse Free to Flee, GIs Quarantined in Italy

Kaci Hickox, the nurse who flew into New Jersey, and was forcibly detained in quarantine by the state government, has been released to go to her home in Maine. 
The nurse forcibly quarantined in New Jersey after she came home from treating Ebola patients in West Africa was released from the hospital Monday. Kaci Hickox has been held against her will in a tent inside a wing of a New Jersey medical center since she was taken off a flight, flushed and distraught, Friday.

Hickox has hired a lawyer and spoken out publicly against her quarantine.

“Since testing negative for Ebola on early Saturday morning, the patient being monitored in isolation at University Hospital in Newark has thankfully been symptom free for the last 24 hours,” New Jersey health department officials said in a statement. “As a result, and after being evaluated in coordination with the CDC and the treating clinicians at University Hospital, the patient is being discharged.”
She had bitterly complained about her treatment at the hands of the TSA and CDC, after she flew in and showed a fever upon testing with the "touchless" infrared thermometers used for screening. The White House and the CDC opposed her forcible quarantine, and one strongly suspects that Gov. Christie yielded to White House pressure, and assurances that she would leave for Maine, and not be his problem any longer.

Meanwhile, 11 US soldiers returning from Liberia where they were helping establish new treatment centers were quarantined in Italy:
U.S. soldiers returning from Liberia are being placed in isolation in Vicenza, Italy out of concern for the Ebola virus, CBS News national security correspondent David Martin reports.

The soldiers being monitored include Maj. Gen. Darryl Williams who was the commander of the U.S. Army in Africa but turned over duties to the 101st Airborne Division over the weekend, Martin reports. There are currently 11 soldiers in isolation.

They apparently were met by Carabinieri in full hazmat suits. If the policy remains in effect, everyone returning from Liberia - several hundred - will be placed in isolation for 21 days. Thirty are expected in today, Martin reports.
Apparently Federal government policy is that quarantines are unacceptable for civilians potentially exposed to Ebola, but in the job description for soldiers. Do they at least get hazardous duty pay?

Mickey Kaus is calling for "Club Fed" style quarantine centers which will be so nice people will want to be exposed to Ebola to get into them: Do We Need an Ebola Luxury Resort?
The Prisoner and the Dilemma: We'd like to quarantine care workers who return from caring for Ebola patients in West Africa -- we're not 100% sure that symptomless people aren't contagious ("unlikely"), and symptoms seem to come on relatively quickly in any case. Voluntary quarantining has proven incompletely effective. At the same time, we don't want to discourage volunteer health care workers from traveling to West Africa, where the main fight against the disease is being waged. They're not exactly encouraged to make the trip if they know they'll have to spend 21 days in a tent with a portable toilet on their return.
An excellent idea, and cheap at twice the price. Maybe it could be a cruise ship, staffed by doctors and nurses. We could call it the "Ebolaboat."

And just to round out the Ebola news, a 5 year old is in Bellview Hospital in New York after coming from West Africa, with fever and vomiting:
A 5-year-old boy who just returned from West Africa was transported to Bellevue Hospital Sunday with possible Ebola symptoms, according to law-enforcement sources.

The child was vomiting and had a 103-degree fever when he was carried from his Bronx home by EMS workers wearing hazmat suits, neighbors said. “He looked weak,” said a neighbor. “He was really, really out of it.”

The boy returned with his family from Guinea Saturday night and five members of the family were being quarantined inside their apartment, sources said.
It's probably nothing; IIRC, five year olds have fever and vomiting with some frequency even in the absence of Ebola.

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