Civil rights

“Ebola nurse” will sue New Jersey for her forced quarantine

Kaci Hickox, who became known as the 'Ebola nurse," after being quarantined at Newark International Airport in October 2014, but never had contracted Ebola. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Kaci Hickox, who became known as the “ebola nurse” after she returned with a slight fever from volunteer health work in Sierra Leone in October 2014 and was forcibly quarantined at Newark International Airport, is now planning to sue the State of New Jersey. After a forehead-scan thermometer at the airport indicated a slight fever, she was detained at the airport for several hours and later transported to the University Hospital in Newark. Even though a more conventional thermometer there indicated she did not have a fever, and subsequent Ebola tests were negative, she was kept in an isolation tent in the hospital for two days.  Hickox engaged in a very public battle with the state’s governor Chris Christie, who had just announced stricter state regulations for returning health workers. At the time, Christie was dismissive of Hickox, saying: “I’ve been sued lots of times before. Get in line. I’m happy to take it on.” Her lawyers have now announced they will file a federal lawsuit on her behalf, contending that the Christie administration violated Hickox’s civil rights.

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