A Maine official said Friday that Kaci Hickox’s roommate while she helped Ebola patients in Africa has been diagnosed with Ebola, WAGM-TV reports.
“The respondent’s roommate in Africa became infected without knowing how she became infected with Ebola,” said Sheila Pinette with the Maine Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adding that “any potential risk to respondent from that incident has passed.”
It’s also unclear exactly how Dallas nurses Nina Pham and Amber Vinson, the only two people to become infected with Ebola within the U.S., contracted the disease.
Hickox worked as a nurse treating Ebola patients in Sierra Leone with Doctors Without Borders and was the subject of a forced, three-day quarantine in New Jersey when she registered a slight fever when she returned to the U.S.
Maine officials have requested that Hickox quarantine herself at her home until the 21-day incubation period for Ebola is up on Nov. 10, but she’s refused to cooperate. A Maine judge rejected the state’s request for a court-ordered quarantine on Friday.
“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,” Judge Charles LaVerdiere wrote. “The court is fully aware that people are acting out of fear and that this fear is not entirely rational.”
Hickox has been adamant that the quarantine request is not “based on science” and her former employer, Doctors Without Borders, has warned that the quarantines are “chilling” their efforts to keep volunteers coming to West Africa to help fight the Ebola crisis there.
But a vast majority of Americans support quarantines. A CBS News poll Wednesday found that 80 percent of Americans support quarantines for not only health care workers, but any travelers returning from West Africa. (RELATED: Nobel-Prize Winning Physician Backs Ebola Quarantine For Health Workers)