Doctors Without Borders nurse Kaci Hickox, who returned one week ago from treating patients in West Africa for Ebola, may roam free again.
A Maine judge on Friday said state officials will need to prove the need for a mandatory quarantine if they want to enforce one for health-care workers returning from West Africa, CNN and the Associated Press reported. State officials were trying to constrain Hickox to her home and away from the public for 21 days, Ebola's incubation period. At one point, they even prevented a pizza delivery for about 20 hours.
Ebola is only contagious while a patient shows symptoms. Hickox has not shown any symptoms for Ebola, and she twice tested negative for the disease.
Hickox told reporters at her house she is pleased with the decision. "I know that Ebola is a scary disease," she said. "I have seen it face-to-face. And I know that we are nowhere near winning this battle. We will only win this battle as we continue this discussion, as we gain a better collective understanding about Ebola and public health, as we overcome the fear, and, most importantly, as we end the outbreak that is still ongoing in West Africa today."
Hickox said she will continue to self-monitor and follow recommendations issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for health-care workers returning from West Africa.