The first health worker to be isolated under the rules to impose mandatory quarantine for travellers from Ebola-hit regions is to sue over her quarantine.
Kaci Hickox was placed under 21 day quarantine in New Jersey after returning from Sierra Leone, arguing that her constitutional rights were infringed.
New Jersey, New York and Illinois are imposing quarantines on anyone arriving with a high risk of having contracted Ebola in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea, where the epidemic has killed nearly 5,000 people.
The White House voiced its concern to the governors of New York and New Jersey about the potential impact of quarantine orders, a senior administration official said.
“We have let the governors of New York, New Jersey, and other states know that we have concerns with the unintended consequences of policies not grounded in science may have on efforts to combat Ebola at its source in West Africa,” the Obama administration official said in a statement.
Medical professionals note that Ebola is extremely difficult to catch. It is spread through direct contact with bodily fluids from an infected person and is not transmitted by people who are not showing symptoms.
At a late evening news conference on Sunday, New York governor Andrew Cuomo struck a more conciliatory tone about the quarantine policy than he had when he first announced it on Friday with New Jersey governor Chris Christie.