Tags: Ebola Outbreak | Polls | ebola | quarantine | healthcare workers | West Africa

Poll: 71 Percent Favor Quarantine of Those Aiding Ebola Victims

By    |   Monday, 03 November 2014 01:46 PM

Nearly three out of four Americans believe that healthcare workers returning from humanitarian missions in West Africa fighting the Ebola virus outbreak should be placed under mandatory quarantine for 21 days upon returning to the U.S., even if they show no signs of the deadly disease.

The NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll shows widespread support for actions by the governors of New York, New Jersey and Illinois, who imposed a mandatory quarantine on returning healthcare workers, and opposition to the action of a Maine court that backed nurse Kaci Hickox, who returned to the United States after working with Doctors Without Borders in Sierra Leone and found herself placed in mandatory quarantine.

Hickox fought it in court and was released into a voluntary self-quarantine, and a judge ordered she could not have her movements restricted.

Some 71 percent of those polled said healthcare workers should be quarantined, NBC reports, while only 24 percent disagreed.

Among Republicans, those who approve of mandatory quarantine rose to 85 percent, while 65 percent of Democrats and 60 percent of independents agreed. Among tea party supporters, 91 percent favor quarantine.

A third of respondents between 18-24 years of age oppose a quarantine, but only 10 percent of seniors agreed with them.

Among those with a high school education, 80 percent are for the quarantining of returning healthcare workers, while 63 percent of those with a college-level education favor an enforced quarantine, NBC reports.

Hickox, who is not symptomatic and has tested negative for the virus, has been seen leaving her Fort Kent, Maine, apartment, bicycling and shaking hands with journalists, and has had friends in for a visit.

She told Meet the Press that she violated state orders to self-quarantine because "The goal was to make sure that we are again talking about science and not politics. I think all of the scientific and medical and public health community agreed with me.

"We know that it's not transmitted by someone who is asymptomatic, as I am and many other aid workers will be when they return."

Story continues below video.


In a negotiated settlement, Hickox has agreed to continue her voluntary self-quarantine by submitting to regular monitoring by healthcare authorities, including daily temperature and symptom checks, until Nov. 10, when the incubation period for the Ebola virus has expired, according to the Bangor Daily News.

The agreement was signed by Judge Charles C. LaVerdiere Monday morning and other hearings on the matter have been canceled.

"I am especially pleased that a well-respected member of the Maine judiciary crafted an order based on medical science, an order that accommodates the important constitutional liberty interests of the individual and the public interest in minimizing any potential risk of a disease such as Ebola," Maine Attorney General Janet Mills told the Bangor Daily News.

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Nearly three out of four Americans believe that healthcare workers returning from missions in West Africa fighting the Ebola virus outbreak should be placed under mandatory quarantine for 21 days, a new poll shows.
ebola, quarantine, healthcare workers, West Africa
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2014-46-03
Monday, 03 November 2014 01:46 PM
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