Coming back from health missions to save people from the deadly Ebola virus, you’d expect a better welcome from the United States. At least that’s what nurse Kari Wilcox expected when she came home from Africa via New Jersey. However, she’s not getting a parade, but a giant plastic jail cell. Since Wilcox was exposed to the Ebola virus and may be at risk, she runs afoul of New Jersey state law: mandatory quarantine for an indeterminate period (up to 21 days) until she’s certified Ebola-free. Kari Wilcox is considering suing New Jersey to get out of mandatory Ebola quarantine.
“Medically speaking there’s no reason for the state of New Jersey to keep her quarantined. She very simply wants to be released. We will advocate for the state of New Jersey and the governor to release her as soon as possible,” said Hickox’s legal representation Norman Siegel
Illinois, Florida, and New York also have mandatory quarantine laws on the books for anyone who may have come into contact with Ebola. Hickox was in Sierra Leone working with Doctors Without Borders to curb the Ebola outbreak. If that sounds vaguely familiar, a doctor returning from West Africa after working with Doctors Without Borders brought Ebola to New York City. He too was asymptomatic for several days after returning from Africa. Hence the need to quarantine anyone who has been in contact with Ebola patients, as any precautions short of a full hazmat suit can be ineffective.
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