Home / National News / Nurse Kaci Hickox 'Will Go to Court' over Maine Ebola Quarantine Rule


(FORT KENT, Maine) — Kaci Hickox, the nurse who was quarantined at a New Jersey hospital despite exhibiting no Ebola symptoms after arriving from West Africa, will take legal action against the state of Maine if officials do not lift the 21-day home quarantine restrictions by Thursday morning.

“I will go to court to attain my freedom,” Hickox told Good Morning America Wednesday via Skype from her home in Fort Kent, Maine. “I have been completely asymptomatic since I’ve been here. I feel absolutely great.”

Hickox, 29, arrived at her home Monday after spending the weekend quarantined in an outdoor isolation tent at University Hospital in Newark, New Jersey.

The Doctors Without Borders nurse was checked by officials at Newark Liberty International Airport Friday after arriving from treating Ebola patients in Sierra Leone. Hickox says she believes the temperature that officials said prompted her detainment in the hospital isolation tent was incorrect.

“I believe that the forehead scanner used to take that temperature was completely inaccurate,” Hickox said. “I didn’t take any anti-fever medicines while at the airport and when I arrived in the isolation facility they took my temperature by an oral thermometer and it was completely normal.”

“You don’t get rid of a fever without taking something within a couple of hours so I think we need to discuss also the instrumentation that officials are using,” she said.

When Hickox arrived in Maine, the state’s governor ordered her to abide by that state’s policy that health care workers who arrive from West Africa remain under a 21-day home quarantine, with their condition actively monitored.

“I remain really concerned by these mandatory quarantine policies for aid workers,” Hickox said Wednesday. “I think we’re just only adding to the stigmatization that, again, is not based on science or evidence.”

Hickox’s attorney, Steven Hyman, says his client, who last treated an Ebola patient on Oct. 21, does not meet the threshold for quarantine.

“The standard is, does Kaci have an infectious disease or agent? Is she harboring an infection?” Hyman said Wednesday on GMA. “The answer is no. Medically, there is no basis to quarantine Kaci at this point in time.”

Hickox says she does not understand the public’s concern over health care workers arriving back home in the United States.

“I think we really have to stick to the facts and the science and I think we also need to look historically,” Hickox said. “I haven’t seen any science that says this is a huge risk and I have seen science that says self-monitoring works.

“Self-monitoring is a humane, understandable, prudent solution,” she said.

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