The Doctors without Borders nurse who returned from treating Ebola patients in Sierra Leone and was put in quarantine in New Jersey, is to be released after NJ Governor Chris Christie changed course on her mandatory quarantine today.
According to the attorney for Kaci Hickox, Stephen Hyman, she will return to Maine, and arrangements for her travel are still being worked out.
Today, the Maine Department of Health and Human Services released their “Ebola Update / Protocol for Travelers from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea”.
It reads as follows:
The Maine Department of Health and Human Services’ Center for Disease Control and Prevention continues daily post-arrival monitoring of travelers to Maine whose travel originated in Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea pursuant to the federal CDC guidelines.
Maine has established protocols for the monitoring of any individual who returns to Maine after traveling from the impacted West African regions based on guidelines of the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention. There are two basic categories of travelers and associated protocols. The protocols may be adapted as appropriate on a case-by-case basis:
1.A traveler who did not come into direct contact with Ebola positive individuals and who is not currently exhibiting symptoms of the disease
Pursuant to the federal CDC guidelines, an individual will be required to make contact daily with the Maine CDC to report his or her temperature, which is taken twice daily. In addition, they will be required to notify the Maine CDC immediately of any other Ebola symptoms, such as headache, joint and muscle aches, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, lack of appetite or abnormal bleeding, as well as any additional travel plans.
Currently, there is one traveler in Maine, who did not come into contact with Ebola positive individuals and who is being monitored by the Maine CDC.
2.A traveler who did come into direct contact with or treat Ebola-positive individuals and who is not currently exhibiting symptoms of the disease
In addition to the federal CDC guidelines outlined above, Maine will require active monitoring to be followed in this instance. In addition Maine will take further measures, out of an abundance of caution, to ensure public safety.
We will work collaboratively with the affected individual to establish quarantine of the individual in his or her home for 21 days after the last possible exposure to Ebola. Twenty-one days is the longest time it can take from the time a person is infected with Ebola until that person has symptoms of Ebola. This protocol for a higher-risk individual will be implemented for the first time when a healthcare worker who came into contact with Ebola-positive individuals returns soon from New Jersey. Under this policy, Maine will make every possible effort to implement an agreed-upon in-home quarantine. We fully expect individuals to voluntarily comply with an in-home quarantine.
The Maine CDC will coordinate care services such as food and medicine if needed.
In either case, if the traveler develops symptoms, protocols will be initiated to transport the individual to the proper health facility for immediate treatment.
Ebola is transmitted only if an individual has direct contact with blood or bodily fluids from a person who is showing symptoms. It is not an airborne disease, nor can a person get Ebola when they have contact with a person who is not showing symptoms.
For the latest information regarding this disease, please go to http://www.maine.gov/ebola . This site is updated frequently and will feature the most-up-to-date information available from the United States Center for Disease Control.
Federal CDC guidelines: http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/hcp/monitoring-and-movement-of-persons-with-exposure.html