Maine judge rejects quarantine for Hickox, dismisses ‘bad science, misinformation’

From the Associated Press:

FORT KENT, Maine (AP) — Kaci Hickox is free to travel unrestricted after a Maine judge on Friday rejected the state’s bid to limit her movements as a medical worker who has treated Ebola patients.

Judge Charles C. LaVerdiere ruled Hickox must continue daily monitoring and coordinate travel with state health officials to ensure continuity of monitoring. The judge said there’s no need to restrict her movements because she’s not infectious because she’s showing no symptoms.

With the judge’s ruling, a state police cruiser parked outside her home drove away.”

 

Kaci HickoxJudge Laverdiere praised Hickox, noting that “We owe her and all professionals who give of themselves in this way a debt of gratitude.” And he didn’t mince many words about why he refused to abuse the authority of the law by imposing unnecessary restrictions on her liberty:

“The court is fully aware of the misconceptions, misinformation, bad science and bad information being spread from shore to shore in our country with respect to Ebola. The court is fully aware that people are acting out of fear and that this fear is not entirely rational.”

 

That’s a far cry from the stupidity being perpetrated in Louisiana, where Gov. Bobby Jindal has refused to allow anyone who has traveled to West Africa in the past 21 days to enter his state. Again, that means anyone who has merely been in those countries, not merely those who have been exposed to Ebola patients.

The order includes scientists and health-care experts who had been planning to attend a high-level conference on tropical diseases scheduled in New Orleans Nov. 2-6. Several experts from the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control will be unable to attend.

“These precautions are being taken out of an abundance of caution for the current situation, and certainly do not reflect a lack of appreciation for your service and sacrifice in efforts to treat and end the epidemic of EVD,” Louisiana officials wrote in a letter to attendees. “… We do hope that you will consider a future visit to New Orleans, when we can welcome you appropriately.”

It’s been instructive to see how quick some people have been to insist that another person’s liberty be sacrificed to placate their own groundless fears. Sure, they’re all for freedom and small government in a theoretical sense, but it doesn’t take much before they’re demanding that the full weight of that same government be brought down upon an individual who poses them no threat whatsoever.

Reader Comments 0

139 comments
lvg
lvg

Ebola is coming!

Democrats love Ebola!

Ebola is coming!  

Limbaugh says Obama is spreading Ebola!.

Ebola is coming!

CDC can't control Ebola!

Ebola is coming!

Fox News:  You will get Ebola! 

Ebola is coming! 

Obama is responsible for Ebola in the US!

Ebola is coming.

 Vote for Perdue and Shady who will control Ebola!

Ebola is coming!

Maine Judge is a commie!

Wascatlady
Wascatlady

Well, I disagree. Knowing and experiencing human inclination, I am not sure we can trust folks not to lie about how they are feeling, either on purpose or from being self-deluded.


If I had been exposed to something so deadly, and got up feeling a little "off" I would probably deny that anything was wrong and get on a plane and head for the city with the best hospital for treating it (i.e., Atlanta, probably.) Then, in a few hours or the next day, if I developed the terrible headache and then fever, THEN I might admit it, or might still try to buy some time, hoping it was just a cold.


The problem is, when I start to feel a little off, the virus is active, replicating in my body.


I'm just saying, we people have a great ability to hope for the best. With Ebola, that is not helpful for containing it.

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

@Wascatlady 

We people also have a remarkable tendency to lie when it is in our own interests to do so.

RosaGoldman
RosaGoldman

@Wascatlady That's why no one is going to trust you to go through years of medical training as a nurse or doctor and volunteer to take care of Ebola patients, risking your life for others.

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

@RosaGoldman @Wascatlady 

But really....how can anyone tell if the other person facing the quarantine is selfless and altruistic and to be trusted as a truth-teller, or selfless and altruistic and fooling oneself about being a possible carrier?

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

I've noticed that on the blogs that carry discussion of Ebola (this blog, Galloway's blog, the Comments sections following news stories) some of the posters seem to be medically trained from their responses and wish to educate the general public this way. Here, GTRay and Philospher and perhaps others fall in that group. I'd like to thank all of you for taking the time (and having the patience) to do this.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

Wasn't sure whether to post about this here or over at FNM--but it's good news, wherever you might see it.


http://abcnews.go.com/US/mexican-judge-orders-us-marine-reservist-released/story?id=26615258


Many US officials including the State Department lobbied for his release.


“During my last visit with Andrew in a Mexican prison, I told him the next time I saw him would be during his release to America; I am grateful that I will be able to keep that promise and be with him and Mrs. Tahmooressi as he returns to the United States tonight," said Rep. Matt Salmon, R-Arizona. “Andrew is a brave Marine who served his country with honor, and I have long maintained that he has been held in a Mexican prison for far too long, and needed to be returned to the United States to receive proper treatment for the PTSD that he suffers from as a direct result of his heroic service to our nation."


The court noted the PTSD in its decision to release the American, citing testimony heard from a psychiatrist that the man's treatment of PTSD should be performed by "specialized personnel," according to a translation of the court document. 

CardiganBoy
CardiganBoy

Seems Judge Laverdiere actually crafted what amounts to a suitable compromise.  Good for him.  


Hard to tell that from this bogus, victory lap of a blog that quickly turns into another attack ad for benefit of the Dem cause next Tuesday.  




Normd
Normd

JKLtwo @ Gessie Sam,

you are coming off as uneducated scardy cats...just saying...

JKLtwo
JKLtwo

Thanks Dr Bookman.  I feel better already.


I didn't realize Judge LaVerdiere was the worlds foremost authority on ebola.  No wonder obama put in a lawyer as ebola czar.  All the health experts are wasting away in the judicial system.


Maybe they should trade in their black robes for white lab coats...

GessieSam
GessieSam

This judge is an imbecile. Not only was she in direct contact with highly contagious ebola patients, her roomate contracted ebola and does not know how she got it.  So, she was exposed 24 hrs/day. 

Brilliant.

lvg
lvg

Ebola is coming!

Obama is spreading Ebola! 

Ebola is coming!  

Vote Republican.

Ebola is coming!

CDC doesn't know how to treat Ebola!

 Ebola is coming!

 Hide from Ebola under your bed! 

Ebola is coming! 

Obama is bringing medical workers with Ebola back to the US! 

Ebola is coming.

 Vote for Perdue and Shady!

Ebola is coming!

Quarantine the Nurse!

GTRay
GTRay

Having worked in infectious disease for decades, I can't help but recall the early days of the epidemic, the screams to round up everyone with AIDS and ship them to an island (or worse), to forbid them from going to school, burning down their homes.

@Renia hits the nail on the head, the relative risk to the general population is much higher with other communicable diseases.  And yet, both Georgia Public Health and CDC seldom order quarantines.  One case that comes to mind was around 15 years ago, when a TB patient from Decatur (if my memory serves) refused to cooperate with his treatment regimen/medical orders.  That is a LEGITIMATE use of a quarantine.  More recently, some of you may recall the circus in 2007 around Atlanta attorney Andrew Speaker, who had a case of MDR TB, rare and dangerous because of the difficulty of treatment -- 2007 CDC ordered involuntary isolation, the first such order by CDC in decades.

People like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity repeatedly spread misinformation and create panic (to what end?).  Hysteria and lies, even when cloaked in false "rationality", are no substitute for science and proven Public Health strategies.  

Think about this, if Ebola were as easily spread as some claim, the number of cases in West Africa would be in the hundreds of thousands.  And the dozens of outbreaks in Africa over the last 4 decades, in areas with poor medical infrastructure, why is it that those outbreaks didn't spread like wildfire?  Consider Nigeria, where the recent outbreak was handled through tried and true Public Health techniques, not quarantines, and Nigeria has now been declared free of Ebola by the WHO..

As some are so fond of saying, common sense isn't so common.

GessieSam
GessieSam

@GTRay Do you know what the tried and true methods were in Nigeria?  Closing the borders and mandatory quarantines.  That is how they contained the disease.  it's you clowns that don't have any common sense.  I suppose the liberal Canadians are all idiots for banning travel, the Australians, too.  Wake up.  The CDC can't even keep their stories straight for a day.  And the Ebola Czar is hiding under his bed. 

GTRay
GTRay

@GessieSam 

This is the first and only response I will make to you.


I don't know where you're getting your information, but this is another example of the type of misinformation I referenced in my post.  The use of contact tracing is what led to the the success in Nigeria.  That is a fact.  The same method we (Public Health) use to address other infectious diseases, like syphilis and TB.  Some people may not want to accept facts; I can't help that.  And let me add, if I may, name-calling has no place in a serious discussion.  In fact, per Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, name-calling is a hallmark of desperation and a lack of facts.


Interestingly, you didn't address my other points -- I guess you were more interested in spouting your opinions (which, of course, you have every right to do)  and calling names. Listen carefully -- this IS NOT a liberal vs. conservative issue, it IS a scientific/medical issue impacting human beings.  I refuse to stoop to name-calling - it's sad that some people can view issues only through the lens of politics, which has no place in science.


gotalife
gotalife

cons are never right on anything. You can bet on it and win easily.

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

@AtlantaMom 

Devastating Onion satire. "With the death toll in West Africa continuing to rise amid a new outbreak of the Ebola virus, leading medical experts announced Wednesday that a vaccine for the deadly disease is still at least 50 white people from being developed."

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

@AtlantaMom @OriginalProf 

I don't think the satire is really quite accurate...it's not race of the victims that's prevented the drug market from developing a vaccine/cure, but the money they have. Those in first world countries are much more likely to pay up.

Corey
Corey

Genes Influence How Mice React to Ebola, Study Says in ‘Significant Advance’ 


Some people exposed to the Ebola virus quickly sicken and die. Others become gravely ill but recover, while still others only react mildly or are thought to be resistant to the virus. Now researchers working with mice have found that these laboratory animals, too, can have a range of responses to Ebola, and that in mice, the responses are determined by differences in genes.

This is the first time scientists have been able to breed mice that developed Ebola infections resembling those in humans complete with some puzzling features seen in people.

About two-thirds of people who die from Ebola never develop the terrifying hemorrhages that appear in others a day or two before death, in which eyes turn fiery red, gums bleed, red dots emerge on the skin as blood seeps out of capillaries, and blood appears in vomit and diarrhea. Many mice, too, die of Ebola without hemorrhages.

Although the investigators have not yet pinned down the exact genetic reasons that mice vary so much in their responses to the Ebola virus, they have identified two genes that seem to be crucial in determining if a mouse will die or whether the infected mouse will even become ill.

Corey
Corey

Ebola hysteria and the flu season are about to collide. Oh my goodness, the Grinch is about to steal Christmas! I wonder how many people exhibiting flu symptoms will be mistaken as Ebola infected. Yes the Grinch is about to steal Christmas.

Brosephus
Brosephus

@Corey 

We've discussed that at work.  If someone comes in on a flight with the flu, we're probably going to see planes getting shrink wrapped in plastic before this is all said and done.  I'm anticipating seeing buildings shut down, schools closed, and all other kinds of things happening.  Flu symptoms are just like Ebola except for the liquefaction of organs and the bleeding that accompanies it.

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

@Corey 

Perhaps worse, people will mistake themselves for being Ebola infected.

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

I do have a few niggling questions left about this all.

A person with Ebola isn't contagious until there's enough virus in the body to show symptoms. But we've had some examples of people who showed the symptoms suddenly before they recognized them (Nurse Amber Vinson, the doctor in New York). Couldn't Nurse X suddenly become contagious before she realized it?


CDC now states that Ebola can be passed by sneezing. "...droplets (e.g., splashes or sprays) of respiratory or other secretions from a person who is sick with Ebola could be infectious, and therefore certain precautions (called standard, contact, and droplet precautions) are recommended for use in healthcare settings to prevent the transmission of Ebola virus from patients sick with Ebola to healthcare personnel and other patients or family members."  http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/transmission/qas.html

What if Nurse X began sneezing while contagious and around others?

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@OriginalProf - your post is common sense and will only gain criticism except from conservatives which you may know are few here.

It will unfortunately take a case of someone catching Ebola due to no quarantine before the Loons change.

Brosephus
Brosephus

@OriginalProf 

Their symptoms didn't just suddenly appear if I remember correctly.  They recognized their symptoms as they became ill.  The doctor was tired for a few days before his fever came on, but he wasn't contagious until that fever appeared.

The nurse was not smart for traveling sick, if she was sick on the plane.  It's also foolish to quarantine a well person who could be used to treat regular sick people at work.

One thing to consider with this virus as to how easy or hard it is to catch.  Duncan went into the hospital in Texas sick and was sent home.  He had to come into contact with other patients who were sick or in an immuno-compromised situation.  He came into contact with nurses, doctors, and other staff either directly or indirectly.  Only two people came down with Ebola.  No people in the waiting room with him got sick.  None of his family, that was taking care of him when he was sick, got ill themselves.  

It's a scary virus, but I don't think it's easily transmitted as some seem to think.

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@OriginalProf @JohnnyReb It will unfortunately take a case of someone catching Ebola due to no quarantine before the Loons change.


No it wont..Because quarantines make things worse. As proved in Liberia.



OriginalProf
OriginalProf

@HeadleyLamar 

That sudden, general quarantine of the entire Monrovia neighborhood was the wrong way to go about it. Rolls of barbed wire around it and armed guards, without any way for people to get food.  And the reason was that a gang had looted an Ebola clinic in the neighborhood and carried off mattresses and sheets.

Philospher
Philospher

@OriginalProf Nurse X will not have enough viral load in nasal secretions, before she is sick enough know he/she is sick and most likely very seriously ill, to sicken someone else.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@Philospher @JohnnyReb @OriginalProf - you obviously don't understand Conservatives.

I know the facts.  I also know the military has enough common sense to do the right thing.

I stick by my comment that it will take an infection due to no quarantine before you Libs see the light.

And, its utterly ridiculous to compare what has and is happening in Africa to here, plus of course the medical community here is doing well controlling Ebola spread because they are working in controlled environments.

The first time a medical worker returning from Africa infects some innocent citizen, you will change your mind.

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

@Philospher @OriginalProf 

Sounds sensible...but then why did CDC post this on their website, changing their earlier position that only other bodily fluids were contagious?

Philospher
Philospher

@JohnnyReb @OriginalProf Dear Johnny Reb-since I (and probably several others before me) have clearly explained to you how Ebola is spread...and how it is NOT spread...and you continue to make the same statements over and over, I have to wonder if you: don't give a crap WHAT the facts are and just want to stir the nest, can't read, or are really slow.

Philospher
Philospher

@OriginalProf @Philospher It is a good thing to read ALL of something, not just jump when you get to the part you like. All body fluids have always been known to be infectious.. Nasal secretions carry a smaller virus load, and, as with any other bodily fluids are infectious when the patient is sick, or symptomatic, with it-and only then.

Philospher
Philospher

@JohnnyReb @Philospher @OriginalProf Since the  transmission method for Ebola would STILL require your fictional "innocent" citizen to come in direct contact with the bodily fluids of an infected (sick, symptomatic) health care worker in order to get sick, "changing my mind" will not be necessary.


OriginalProf
OriginalProf

@Philospher @OriginalProf 

I get that, and I did read the entire section on the CDC website.  But my original concern was whether a sneezing Nurse X with new but unnoticed symptoms of Ebola could be infectious. According to the CDC, it's a possibility.

Tuna Meowt
Tuna Meowt

@JohnnyReb @OriginalProf "your post is common sense"


Only in the sense that burning suspected witches was "common sense" in colonial-era Salem, MA.

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

@Philospher

I understand now. Thanks for explaining.

Philospher
Philospher

The main viral load is in the blood and organs, not the upper respiratory tract. The infected person would be symptomatic before the nasal secretions would be infectious and even then, it would be quite unlikely.

GessieSam
GessieSam

@OriginalProf The libs and their Emperor would like you to believe that one can pinpoint when one becomes infectious down to a five min. window. 

GessieSam
GessieSam

@Philospher @JohnnyReb @OriginalProf Have you ever seen an airport plane where there is urine and feces all over the place?  Do you really think people are taking planes out of service and burning them because there is no risk? The CDC is incompetent, filled with political favor appointments, and their stated goal is to keep people from panicking.  So they tell half-truths and then when they are outed for being incorrect they change their statements.  You cannot get it on a bus, but people who have been in contact with ebola patients must not ride the bus?  The liberal media has buried the story about the Nobel Prize winning epidemiologist who said that the CDC is not telling the truth, and there is barely a mention that this nurse's roomate came down with ebola and does not know how it was possible. 

GessieSam
GessieSam

@Philospher @JohnnyReb @OriginalProf 

“It may not be absolutely true that those without symptoms can’t transmit the disease, because we don’t have the numbers to back that up,” Beutler said. “It could be people develop significant viremia [where viruses enter the bloodstream and gain access to the rest of the body], and become able to transmit the disease before they have a fever, even. People may have said that without symptoms you can’t transmit Ebola. I’m not sure about that being 100 percent true. There’s a lot of variation with viruses.”

It looks like the science is not settled – it never is. Deliberation and disagreement are the crucibles in which knowledge is forged. It is a supreme irony that the aspiring tyrants who insist their monopoly on “science” is reason enough for you to clam up are stifling that clarifying debate and, thus, preventing progress. 

google Beutler the reigning expert in epidemiology.

GTRay
GTRay

@OriginalProf

Look at it another way - TB bacteria normally populate the lungs.  They can "ride" the droplets expelled when an infectious person coughs/sneezes.  That's why TB is considered an "airborne" disease. This is different from someone having infectious body fluids (e.g., blood) in their sneezes/coughs.  Of course, that is not a normal occurrence.  If it were to happen, it is STILL CONSIDERED exposure to the infectious fluid (blood), even though one could call it "airborne" because it's part of the sneeze, but less likely to cause infection versus a direct blood splatter.  

Maybe this will help, too - HIV has been detected in a number of body fluids, including saliva, etc.  But the emphasis for the general public has always focused on blood, semen and vaginal secretions.  Why?  Because the amount of HIV in fluids like saliva or urine is minuscule in comparison - there's simply not a sufficient amount of virus to cause infection.  However, if someone with HIV had blood in their mouth and spit on you where you had a cut, for example, it's not the saliva that is infectious, but the blood. 

Brosephus
Brosephus

Jindal is an a$$hat.  Given how many Louisiana residents work in the oil industry and spend time in those countries to get to and from the rigs, he's going to have a lot of people ticked off at him.  Then again, it seems like some politicians enjoy having people angry with them.  it's like the political version of "street cred" or something.

Kudos to the judge for having common sense and knowing the science along with the Constitution.

Tuna Meowt
Tuna Meowt

@Brosephus I pretty much stopped listening to Jindal after his post-SOTU "Kenneth the NBC Page" impression a few years ago.


His ridiculing of Federal monies being spent on volcano research probably didn't endear him to Hawaii residents either, given that Kilauea had been erupting for 30 straight years at that point.