A nurse’s release Tuesday from an Atlanta hospital leaves a single person in the United States now battling Ebola, though she and others — including President Barack Obama — stressed the fight against the deadly virus isn’t over.
“While this is a day for celebration and gratitude, I ask that we not lose focus on the thousands of families who continue to labor under the burden of this disease in West Africa,” said 29-year-old Amber Vinson.
Smiling broadly and occasionally brushing aside tears, Vinson was surrounded by relatives as well as Emory doctors and nurses.
Nurse Nina Pham from Dallas, who also had Ebola, was released Oct. 24 from a National Institutes of Health hospital in Bethesda, Md.
Meanwhile, on Monday, Kaci Hickox traveled from New Jersey to Maine, where her boyfriend is a senior nursing student at the University of Maine at Fort Kent. Hickox, who spent the weekend in a quarantine tent in New Jersey, said she never had Ebola symptoms and tested negative in a preliminary evaluation. She also sharply criticized New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo for ordering mandatory quarantines.
Hickox, told CNN that her “basic human rights have been violated,” and was released Monday, two days after testing negative for Ebola. She was seemingly powerless to challenge her banishment to a quarantine tent in Newark.
The nurse’s treatment, as well as the quarantine policies of New York and New Jersey, have been criticized as heavy-handed.
Former Ebola patient Rick Sacra, a doctor infected in Liberia, likened the mandatory quarantine for returning health-care workers in New York and New Jersey to a “police state approach.”