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US row over mandatory Ebola quarantine

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US row over mandatory Ebola quarantine


The American nurse being treated for possible exposure to Ebola has left hospital and will remain in quarantine at home.

Kaci Hickox has threatened legal action saying she was made to feel like a criminal when she arrived from tending to Ebola patients in West Africa.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie stood by his state’s quarantine policy but said he was sorry if Hickox was “inconvenienced”.

“We’re very happy that she was released from the hospital this morning because she hasn’t have any symptoms for 24 hours. And New Jersey is providing transportation for her back to (her) home in Maine where the Maine health officials will take over her care and monitor her from there,” Christie said.

A wider row has blown up over when to quarantine possible Ebola patients. Three US states have began a mandatory 21 day detention for health care workers returning from West Africa.

But UN Secretary-General Ban ki Moon says its wrong to keep people locked up when they are symptom free and the Federal government says it force states to enforce quarantine measures.

The White House said policies should be guided by science.

“We want to make sure that whatever policies are put in place in this country to protect the American public do not serve as a disincentive to doctors and nurses from this country volunteering to travel to West Africa to treat Ebola patients,” said White House spokesman Josh Earnest.

Meanwhile, a US army general and 11 of his troops will be held for 21 days at an American military base in Italy after returning from Liberia, one of the country’s worst hit by the virus.

The World Health Organisation said that more than 10,000 cases of Ebola have now been recorded with at least 5,000 deaths.

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