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Health

Fort Kent Nurse Emerges from Home, Speaks Out Against Quarantine

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Patty Wight
/
MPBN

FORT KENT, Maine — Kaci Hickox, the nurse undergoing an in-home Ebola quarantine in Maine, stepped out of her house for the first time Wednesday night to speak out against the policy under which she is confined. She says she has not committed to staying at home because she doesn't have any Ebola symptoms since returning from Sierra Leone to battle the disease.

Hickox says Maine's Ebola protocols, which require in-home quarantine for those exposed to the virus even if they don't show any symptoms, are not based on science.

"I don't want to hurt anyone in the public, but I don't think this is an acceptable line to be drawn," she says.

Hickox says she attempted to create a compromise with state health officials, in which she would restrict her travel and continue direct active monitoring of her health. But she says those attempts proved unsuccessful.

"There are things we know work, and all aid workers are willing to do those things, but I'm not willing to stand here and have my civil rights be violated when it's not science-based," Hickox says.

Maine's health commissioner says the state is seeking legal action to ensure Hickox complies with the in-home quarantine. Hickox says she will fight any legal challenge and is taking a stance on behalf of other health care workers.