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Dallas Ebola Survivor Nina Pham to Reunite with Her Dog


Dallas Animal Services(DALLAS) -- Dallas nurse Nina Pham, who last week was declared Ebola-free and discharged from the National Institutes of Health's hospital in Maryland, will finally reunite with her dog, Bentley, who has been in quarantine for 21 days over fears that he, too, would develop the deadly virus.

"She's pretty excited," Dallas spokeswoman Sana Syed told ABC News. "We've been talking to her every day."

Pham is expected to reunite with Bentley Saturday morning, give a short statement and accept a gift basket filled with donations from people around the country, Syed said.

Pham, 26, contracted Ebola while caring for Thomas Eric Duncan, a native of Libya who was the first person to be diagnosed with Ebola in the United States and also the only person to die of the disease in the U.S.

Pham, a nurse at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, was diagnosed with Ebola and isolated on Oct. 11. She was then transferred to the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, on Oct. 16 and discharged on Oct. 24.

Bentley's quarantine won't be over until Nov. 1, so his veterinarians thought it best not to confuse Bentley with visits from Pham if he couldn't go home, Syed said. Caregivers feared if Bentley saw Pham and she left, he might become anxious or depressed, and have other health concerns.

"It's been a tough week for her, since she's been back and obviously wanted to see Bentley right away," Syed said, adding that Pham has maintained her distance.

Over the last three weeks, the King Charles cavalier spaniel has been cared for by a crew of veterinarians in isolation at Hensley Field in Dallas, she said.

"They played with him and hugged him, really just gave him that attention he needed during this time," Syed said. "They dedicated so much time caring for Bentley to make sure he got loved during this isolation period."

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What Kaci Hickox Has to Say About CourtÂ’s Quarantine Decision


ABC News(FORT KENT, Maine) -- A nurse who fought quarantine rules after returning from treating Ebola patients in West Africa said a court ruling in her favor will ensure that other health care workers returning from Africa are given "human treatment."

"I am humbled today by the judge's decision and even more humbled by the support that we have received by the town of Fort Kent, the state of Maine, across the United States and even across the border," Hickox, 33, told reporters Friday from her home in Fort Kent.

A judge in Maine ruled Friday that Hickox could leave her home and spend time in public spaces despite other state officials' attempts to force her into a mandatory quarantine until a 21-day potential Ebola incubation period ends.

The judge noted in his ruling that although the state's fears may be irrational, they are real and Hickox should be mindful of them.

"I know Ebola is a scary disease," Hickox said Friday. "I have seen it face-to-face."

Maine Gov. Paul LePage attempted to force Hickox to take a blood test for Ebola to prove she doesn't have the deadly virus. Hickox tested negative for Ebola twice in New Jersey after arriving at Newark International Airport, and experts have said a person must be symptomatic to test positive. Hickox has not shown any Ebola symptoms, she said.

Hickox had been treating patients in Sierra Leone with Doctors Without Borders before she returned to the United States and landed New Jersey a week ago. Upon landing, she was questioned for six hours and quarantined in an isolation tent until she was allowed to drive up to Maine on Monday. In Maine, officials first suggested a voluntary quarantine and then sought to legally enforce it.

But Hickox said she wouldn't comply because the quarantine rules weren't "scientifically valid." She said she fought the quarantine for all the other health workers expected to return from West Africa in the coming weeks.

The Centers for Disease Control doesn't require quarantines for returning health workers who wear protective gear because they can't spread the virus unless they are symptomatic for Ebola and others come into contact with their bodily fluids.

According to the judge's order, Hickox will need to agree to active monitoring and coordinate her travel with health authorities. She must also report any symptoms she experiences to public health authorities.

Hickox said she plans to spend this evening eating her boyfriend’s cooking and watching a scary movie. She said she won’t be able to take trick-or-treaters because she hasn’t been able to buy candy.


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California Heart Surgeon's Patient Is Doctor Who Delivered Him


Dmitrii Kotin/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- It was a near-full-circle moment for Dr. Jim Affleck, a retired obstetrician, when he went in for heart surgery last month at Sutter Memorial Hospital in Sacramento, California.

One of the doctors in the operating room with Affleck was Dr. Robert Kincade, a heart surgeon whom Affleck delivered 45 years ago.

Luckily for Affleck, he said, the uncanny coincidence was not a completely full-circle moment.

“We didn’t have to come full circle on this delivery-death thing,” Affleck, 84, told ABC News Friday, adding that he “feels like a new person” after having his aortic valve replaced.

Affleck spent 33 years as an obstetrician in the Sacramento area delivering thousands of babies -- so many that he says he lost count. So no one can blame him for not immediately recognizing that his patient was now his doctor.

“I was surprised because, as an obstetrician, your patient is the mother,” he said. “You just hand the baby off to the pediatrician and never see it again.”

Dr. Kincade is the medical director of the Sutter Transplant and Advanced Therapies Programs, located at Sutter Memorial Hospital, the same hospital where he was born and where Affleck practiced.

When Kincade realized the coincidence, he called the best source possible to confirm who delivered him: his mom, according to Affleck and the hospital. The doctor, who could not be reached Friday by ABC News because he was in surgery, then confirmed again via his birth certificate that Affleck was his doctor.

“I was surprised he would look at his birth certificate and remember that and his mother remembered it too,” Affleck said.

Affleck, who lives just outside Sacramento with his wife, Dona, and has three kids of his own, called his recovery from the heart surgery “marvelous.”

He had a chance to reunite with Kincade on Monday when he went back to the hospital for his final check-up.

“We’ve stayed in touch,” Affleck said. “The day after the surgery I got up and I could just tell that everything was different.”

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Many High School Seniors in Favor of Marijuana Reform


CapturedNuance/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A survey of high school seniors found that most 18-year-olds want marijuana reform.

According to the study, published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, nearly one-third of students surveyed felt marijuana should be entirely legal, and nearly that amount -- 28.5 percent -- felt that marijuana should be treated as a minor violation.

The survey included 12,000 students between 2007 and 2011. Researchers did find that certain groups were more or less likely to support marijuana legalization. Among those more likely to be in favor of legalization were black, liberal and urban students, while women, conservatives, religious students and those with friends who disapprove of marijuana use were less likely to support legalization.

Interestingly, the survey found, nearly 17 percent of those students who had never used marijuana before were in favor of legalization.

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Look Inside Isolation Ward Where Nina Pham Was Treated for Ebola


National Institutes of Health(BETHESDA, Md.) -- Simple beige walls and the Spartan furnishings is what Ebola patient Nina Pham lived with during the eight days she was treated at the isolation block of the National Institutes of Health.

ABC News got a look inside the specially designed unit, one of only four facilities in the country specially designed to handle a contagion of Ebola’s level. This one was designed in 2010 to cope with the threat of outbreaks for diseases such as Influenza or SARS, and then adapted for Ebola.

A small antechamber with negative air-pressure separates the corner room where Pham was treated from the rest of the block, known as the Special Clinical Studies Unit.

NIH’s infectious disease director, Dr. Anthony Fauci, demonstrated the facility and complex biohazard suits used by its clinicians.

It can take over 10 minutes to assemble the apparel known as PPE, for Personal Protective Equipment, and roughly a dozen separate pieces go into it. From multiple layers of the special repellant cloth known as Tyvek to wireless radio transmitters and a respirator, the dizzying process of donning and removing the gear -- known as doffing -- is designed to never expose the wearer to contaminated material.

The procedure is so complex that a specially trained observer stands by to supervise with a lengthy checklist.

“There are variations of this process,” Fauci said as two clinicians donned and doffed behind him. “So if some group doesn’t do it exactly like this it doesn’t mean it’s wrong. This is just best for us.”

“This process is not an easy process. The one thing you want to be sure of is that you are at your most fatigued when taking off your material, when you are doffing. And that's when you are most vulnerable of being infected, so that's why you do it very, very carefully,” he said.

Pham was released last week after eight days under supervision at the center. She was diagnosed on Oct. 11 after contracting the deadly virus in the process of treating Thomas Eric Duncan, the first to bring the disease to American soil, at a Dallas hospital. Duncan died from the virus.

The disease, for which there is no proven antibiotic cure, has killed thousands since this year’s outbreak began in West Africa.

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Five Tips to 'Fall Back' from Daylight Saving Time 2014


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- What's better than sleeping in on a Sunday? How about dodging the days-long consequences of rolling the clocks back this weekend?

Daylight Saving Time ends this weekend, which means that most residents in the country return to Standard Time at 2 a.m. Sunday. To do so, most people set the clocks back one hour Saturday night, before they hit the hay. This does not apply to you if you live in most of Arizona or Hawaii, where it’s always island time.

Sure, you'll gain an hour when Daylight Saving Time ends at 2 a.m. Sunday. But spending said hour in bed after sunrise will do you few favors in the long run, sleep experts say.

"It will hit you Sunday evening," said Dr. Yosef Krespi, director of the New York Head and Neck Institute's Center for Sleep Disorders. "But if your body clock is tuned to waking up with sunlight, you're going to benefit."

The body clock is a cluster of neurons deep inside the brain that generates the circadian rhythm, also known as the sleep-wake cycle. The cycle spans roughly 24 hours, but it's not precise.

"It needs a signal every day to reset it," said Dr. Alfred Lewy, director of Oregon Health and Science University's Sleep and Mood Disorders Laboratory in Portland.

The signal is sunlight, which shines in through the eyes and "corrects the cycle from approximately 24 hours to precisely 24 hours," said Lewy. But when the sleep-wake and light-dark cycles don't line up, people can feel out-of-sync, tired and grumpy.

With time, the body clock adjusts on its own. But here are a few ways to help it along:

1. Wake Up at a Normal Time Sunday Morning

Many people see the extra hour as an excuse to stay up later and sleep in longer. But sleeping through the Sunday morning sunlight can leave you feeling out of sorts for the start of the week, according to Krespi.

Instead, try to get up at the same time. Use the extra hour to go for a morning walk or make a hearty breakfast.

2. Eat Well and Exercise

Speaking of morning walks and breakfast, an active lifestyle and a healthy diet can work wonders for your sleep, according to Krespi. So grab your partner, your dog or your favorite playlist and get outside some fresh air and exercise. And dig into a breakfast packed with whole grains and protein to keep you energized through the 25-hour day.

3. Get a Good Night's Sleep Sunday Night

Still have extra time to kill Sunday? Use it to turn your bedroom into a full-fledged sleep zone.

"It has to be quiet, it has to be cool and it has to be dark," said Krespi. "Shut down your gadgets and turn away that alarm clock so you don't watch it tick."

Try to hit the sack at your usual bedtime, even though it will be dark one hour earlier.

4. Try a Low Dose of Melatonin

While light synchronizes the body clock in the morning, the hormone melatonin updates it at night. The exact function of the hormone, produced by the pea-size pineal gland in the middle of the brain, is unclear. But it can activate melatonin receptors on the neurons of the body clock, acting as a "chemical signal for darkness," Lewy said.

Taking a low dose of melatonin in the evening can help sync the sleep-wake and light-dark cycles. But be careful: Although melatonin is sold as a dietary supplement, it can cause drowsiness and interfere with other drugs. Talk to your doctor about the dosage and timing that's right for you.

5. Know That Your Body Will Adjust

It might take a few days to feel 100 percent normal, but fear not: Your body will adjust to the new light-dark cycle.

"Some people suffer more, some people less, it all depends," said Krespi, adding that falling back in November tends to be easier than springing forward in March. "On Monday morning, we'll appreciate that we're waking up for work or school with sunlight."

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Teal Pumpkins Indicate Food Allergy Awareness This Halloween


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Of all the bizarre things kids and adults might see on Halloween are pumpkins painted the color of teal on people’s stoops.

If that’s the case, the little ones expecting candy might be disappointed because it means that home is participating in “The Teal Pumpkin Project,” meaning no sweet treats.

The project is described by a group calling itself Food Allergy Research and Education as promoting “safety, inclusion and respect of individuals managing food allergies -- and to keep Halloween a fun, positive experience for all.”

While it’s certainly a very serious issue, the group isn’t out to ruin a festive occasion.

Rather than hand out candy, FARE recommends that parents offer other fun stuff, including stickers, glow sticks or other knick-knacks that commemorate Halloween.

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How to Get College Credit for Wasting Time on the Internet


iStock/Thinkstock(PITTSBURGH) — Wasting time on the Internet is an American obsession. It also happens to be the name of a course at the University of Pittsburgh taught by professor Kenneth Goldsmith.

He says that the course is basically a rebuttal to the gloom- and doom-sayers who contend that all the time spent on the Internet doing basically nothing contributes to the dumbing-down of the nation.

Yet, Goldsmith says nothing could be further from the truth and to prove his point, students who take “Wasting Time on the Internet,” which is required of creative writing majors, will have to spend three hours per class interacting through chat rooms, social media and other platforms.

Their goal by the end of the session, according to the prof, is to find “substantial works of literature” online to show that it’s not such a waste of time after all.

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Working Moms Have It Tougher than You Think


Digital Vision/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Many women who care for children while holding down a job are feeling overwhelmed by the stress of trying to balance both important responsibilities.

In a survey of 1,000 working moms by care.com, which helps parents find and manage family care, women report working an average of 37 hours a week while spending another 80 hours on child care, household chores and other matters.

According to the survey, more than a third say "they're always falling behind" while two-thirds "imagine that others are more together than they are."

It's no wonder than that one in four working moms report that they cry alone at least once a week.  About 30 percent say they also get into a fight at least once a week with their partner or kids.

In spite of these problems, three out ten working moms won't hire someone to help because they feel guilty about not being to handle things by themselves.

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Why Some Sports Fans Turn to Vandalism Even After a Win


Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Winners are generally more aggressive than the losers, according to at least one psychologist, so he was not surprised when celebrations turned violent in San Francisco after the Giants won the World Series Wednesday.

“This is not uncommon after many major sporting events,” said Brad Bushman, a professor of communication and psychology at the Ohio State University School of Communication.

People who feel they have “won” sometimes like to boast or celebrate that victory, he said, though the victory can end with their trying to diminish the loser in order to feel better.

“Social identity theory shows that people like to take pride in the groups they belong to,” Bushman said. “But often people think to make themselves feel better they have to stomp down those who belong to other groups.”

After the Giants won the World Series for the third time in five years, some of their fans took to the streets immediately after the game near the baseball stadium where the team plays to celebrate with cheers and in some cases property damage.

Police in riot gear took to the streets and used tear gas to get fans to disperse.

Forty people were arrested Wednesday night, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, which reported Thursday afternoon that police said three people were booked for alleged assault and two for illegal gun possession.

Police said many of those arrested were from outside San Francisco.

One local merchant, Kim Jung, 57, complained to the newspaper about the graffiti scrawled outside his diner. “I’m lucky there wasn’t any broken windows,” he said.

Speaking of the vandalism, he asked, “Why is it like that?”

Experts cite crowds as a contributing factor, saying anonymity allows people to feel like they can do something illegal or dangerous and not be caught.

"It’s a group contagion effect," said Stanley Teitelbaum, a psychologist and psychotherapist in New York. "When they’re part of a group, then they’re more prone and more likely to join in and let that aggressive side of themselves."

Teitelbaum said an intense game, like the final game at the World Series, can result in people searching for a release through destructive behavior.

"Internally, people are psychologically and emotionally building up a lot of intensity and tension," he said. "It becomes an opportunity or an excuse to let all this out."

Teitelbaum said people may start out thinking they're doing something minor, but that it can quickly spiral out of control.

"You start to rock a car and you don’t necessarily mean to get it turned over," Teitelbaum said. “You’re expressing an aggressive feeling."

While a World Series win can lead to heightened emotions, they're not always positive, according to experts.

Fredrick Koenig, former professor of social psychology at Tulane University in New Orleans, said for some people extreme happiness can turn into extreme aggression.

“This is an aspect of crowd behavior and it’s called ‘excitation transfer’; one part of your brain gets excited and it transfers over to aggression,” Koenig told ABC News.

Koenig said if the excitement transmits to aggression, being in a crowd with a lot of other like-minded people is not a good place to be.

"In crowds, the rules aren’t there anymore; [people] start doing things that are not normative," he said.

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How an Antifreeze Ingredient Led to a Whiskey Recall in Europe


Jag_cz/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The overseas recall of a batch of U.S. whiskey imported to three Scandinavian countries has focused new attention on an ingredient that has long been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in foods and beverage.

The issue arose after Finland, Sweden, and Norway asked the makers of Fireball whiskey to recall a batch of the liquor that contained a higher amount of the FDA-approved ingredient propylene glycol than is allowed under European regulations, according to a statement from Metairie, Louisiana-based Sazerac, the makers of Fireball.

While the ingredient is also used in nonedible products including antifreeze, it is considered, “generally recognized as safe” by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to be used in food and beverages.

Motoko Mukai, a principal research scientist at the Department of Food Science at Cornell University, explained that there are different kinds of antifreeze and that the antifreeze that contains propylene glycol is less toxic and more environmentally safe than antifreeze that contains ethylene glycol, which is toxic to humans.

“I saw a lot of media that it’s found in antifreeze; [propylene glycol] is found in environmentally friendly antifreeze,” she said.

Mukai said there are limits on the amount of propylene glycol that can be used in foods and liquors, but that it would be extremely difficult to ingest too much of the chemical through food or drink.

For example, Mukai points out in liquor the chemical can make up to just 50 grams for each kilogram of liquid, or 5 percent. So, she said before a person would get sick from consuming a dangerous amount of the chemical, they would likely get sick from alcohol poisoning.

Propylene glycol toxicity has only been reported in rare and unusual circumstances including intravenous medications containing propylene glycol and with topically applied medications using the chemical, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In addition to alcohol, the product is often used in small amounts ice cream, candy and seasonings, Mukai said.

Sazerac, which makes Fireball whiskey, has defended its product, saying it is, “absolutely safe to drink and the use of [propylene glycol] in Fireball creates no health risk whatsoever.”

The chemical is used as a flavoring ingredient in its whiskey and is used in very small quantities, less than one-eighth of the amount allowed in the United States, the Sazerac group said.

According to a post on their website, the North American-standard batch of whiskey in question was mistakenly sent to Finland, Sweden and Norway. The company was aware the liquor did not comply with European rules requiring less propylene glycol, a flavoring ingredient.

Mukai said European regulations do not allow the same level of propylene glycol, which is why the liquor was recalled from three countries. The countries that asked for a recall permit a much lower amount of propylene glycol in their liquor products. She said it is common for companies to have different formulas for products, depending on local regulations.

The European Union and the United States have different regulations for many chemicals used in common items, including Bisphenol A, which is common in plastics and phthalates, which are common in cosmetics.

Finland, Sweden and Norway have asked Sazerac to recall the alcohol and send another batch specifically formulated to adhere to European regulations, according to the company website.

An FDA representative confirmed that the ingredient is approved for use in certain foods and beverages. The chemical can be used for a variety of uses in foods, including as a thickener and stabilizer and a flavor agent, according to the FDA website.

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New York City 'Actively Monitoring' 117 People for Ebola


VILevi/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- New York City is monitoring 117 people for possible Ebola, most of them people who arrived on commercial flights from West Africa over the past 19 days.

Those being monitored include people who cared for a New York doctor who tested positive for Ebola after treating patients in West Africa.

The doctor, Craig Allen Spencer, was placed in an isolation unit last week at Bellevue Hospital after reporting Ebola-like symptoms.

"The list also includes Bellevue Hospital staff taking care of Dr. Spencer, FDNY EMS staff who transported Dr. Spencer to Bellevue, the lab workers who conducted Dr. Spencer’s blood test, and the three people who had direct contact with Dr. Spencer prior to his arrival at Bellevue and who are currently under city quarantine,” said Marti Adams, a spokesman for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

Most of those monitored, however, were identified through stepped up screening protocols at John F. Kennedy International Airport, which began on Oct. 11.

"The vast majority of these individuals [being monitored] are travelers arriving in New York City since Oct. 11 from the three Ebola-affected countries who are being monitored post-arrival," Adams said.

Spencer, 33, was treating Ebola patients in Guinea for Doctors Without Borders, according to the officials. Guinea is one of the West African countries currently battling an Ebola outbreak.

Spencer is the fourth patient to be diagnosed with Ebola in the United States. Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian national, tested positive for the virus at the end of September in Dallas, where he infected two nurses who cared for him: Nina Pham and Amber Vinson.

Duncan died on Oct. 8. Vinson and Pham have both been discharged and are Ebola-free.

Spencer is the only remaining American Ebola patient still battling the virus in the United States. Bellevue Hospital released a statement on Thursday saying that he remains in serious but stable condition.

The hospital also noted that a 5-year-old child who tested negative for Ebola on Monday was discharged on Thursday.

Spencer's diagnosis prompted several states to toughen their quarantine rules, leading to the controversy surrounding Ebola nurse Nancy Hickox, who is refusing to abide by voluntary quarantine rules in Maine.

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Maine Pizzeria Delivers Pie to Ebola Nurse


Creatas/Thinkstock(FORT KENT, Maine) -- An Ebola nurse fighting quarantine orders in Maine got a special delivery Thursday afternoon: a pizza from Moose Shack on Main Street.

Nurse Kaci Hickox, told reporters Wednesday night that the one thing she missed while she was cooped up in her Fort Kent home was Moose Shack pizza. So on Thursday morning, the pizzeria contacted the police department to see whether they could deliver a pizza to her.

Hickox, 33, returned from treating Ebola patients in West Africa last week and on Thursday morning broke Maine's voluntary quarantine by going on a bike ride as officials waffled between whether to seek legal enforcement to the quarantine or let her off the hook with a blood test.

April Hafford, whose father owns the pizzeria, delivered the pizza to Hickox's home Thursday afternoon. Earlier in the day, she told ABC News that the pizzeria's biggest concern was how their customers will feel about the special delivery.

"It's such a small place here, and it could go either way," Hafford said. "There’s a lot of people that maybe wouldn't come here because of it -- and who would come because of it. It could go either way."

Hafford, who said she's seen Hickox and her boyfriend in the pizza shop three times since it opened in January, said Moose Shack has already received a lot of calls about Hickox Thursday morning, and that the quarantine is a controversial issue in the small town.

And for those wondering, it was a pepperoni, black olive and mushroom pizza.

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NY Program Would Encourage Health Care Workers to Travel to West Africa


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- As New York City hosts the nation's sole Ebola patient, city and state officials have announced a program to encourage health care professionals to travel to West Africa to treat Ebola patients.

The initiative would be modeled on benefits and rights provided to military reservists.

New York state and the city will work to ensure that health care workers who travel to West Africa would have their pay, health care and employment statuses continue seamlessly when they get back.

“The depth of the challenge we face in containing Ebola requires us to meet this test in a comprehensive manner on multiple fronts, and part of that is encouraging and incentivizing medical personnel to go to West Africa," New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement Friday.

State officials would also provide necessary reimbursements to health care workers and their employers for any quarantine that are needed upon their return to New York.

New York state is coordinating the program with New Jersey and the Greater New York Hospital Association.

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Nurse Says She Won't Have Officials Violate 'My Civil Rights'


Handout Photo(FORT KENT, Maine) -- As Maine officials said they were preparing to get a court order to enforce a mandatory quarantine, Ebola nurse Kaci Hickox said Wednesday night she is not willing to "stand here and have my civil rights violated."

"You could hug me, you could shake my hand, I would not give you Ebola," she said outside her Fort Kent home.

Her comments came hours after Maine officials said they would seek to force Hickox, 33, to obey a 21-day quarantine, although the order would first need to be approved by a judge before it could be enforced.

"When it is made clear by an individual in this risk category that they do not intend to voluntarily stay at home for the remaining 21 days, we will immediately seek a court order to ensure that they do not make contact with the public," Maine Health Commissioner Mary Mayhew said during a news conference Wednesday evening.

But legal experts say it's not clear whether such an order would be approved by a judge.

“The state has the burden of proving that she is infected, or at least was credibly exposed to infection, and also that by her own behavior she is likely to infect others if not confined,” said public health lawyer Wendy Mariner, who teaches at Boston University School of Law.

“The state is not likely to have any evidence of that,” Mariner said, adding that Hickox should be able to prove that she isn't infected and plans to take precautions to not expose anyone to her bodily fluids.

Earlier Wednesday, Maine's governor and other officials said they were are seeking legal authority to enforce what started out as a voluntary quarantine. They also said state police were monitoring Hickox's home "for both her protection and the health of the community," according to a statement from the Maine governor's office.

"We are very concerned about her safety and health and that of the community," Maine Gov. Paul LePage said. "We are exploring all of our options for protecting the health and well-being of the healthcare worker, anyone who comes in contact with her, the Fort Kent community and all of Maine. While we certainly respect the rights of one individual, we must be vigilant in protecting 1.3 million Mainers, as well as anyone who visits our great state."

Hickox was treating Ebola patients in Sierra Leone for Doctors Without Borders. She returned to the United States on Friday, landing in Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey, where she was questioned and quarantined in an outdoor tent through the weekend despite having no symptoms. She registered a fever on an infrared thermometer at the airport but an oral thermometer at University Hospital in Newark showed that she actually had no fever, she said.

After twice testing negative for the deadly virus, Hickox was released and returned home to Maine on Monday. The following day, the state's health commissioner announced that Maine would join the handful of states going beyond federal guidelines and asking that returning Ebola health workers self-quarantine.

Doctors without Borders issued a statement on Wednesday, disagreeing with blanket quarantines. "Such a measure is not based upon established medical science," the organization said. "Kaci Hickox has carried out important, lifesaving work for MSF in a number of countries in recent years, and we are proud to have her as a member of our organization. MSF respects Kaci’s right as a private citizen to challenge excessive restrictions being placed upon her."

"Our true desire is for a voluntary separation from the public. We do not want to have to legally enforce an in-home quarantine," Maine Health Commissioner Mary Mayhew said in a statement. "We are confident that the selfless health workers, who were brave enough to care for Ebola patients in a foreign country, will be willing to take reasonable steps to protect the residents of their own country. However, we are willing to pursue legal authority if necessary to ensure risk is minimized for Mainers."

But Hickox said she doesn't think it is reasonable.

"I will go to court to attain my freedom," Hickox told Good Morning America via Skype from her hometown of Fort Kent. "I have been completely asymptomatic since I've been here. I feel absolutely great."

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention doesn't consider health workers who treated Ebola patients in West Africa to be at "high risk" for catching Ebola if they were wearing protective gear, according to new guidelines announced this week. Since they have "some risk," the CDC recommends that they undergo monitoring -- tracking symptoms and body temperature twice a day -- avoid public transportation and take other precautions. But the CDC doesn't require home quarantines for these workers.

Someone isn't contagious until Ebola symptoms appear, according to the CDC. And even then, transmission requires contact with bodily fluids such as blood and vomit.


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