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Maine nurse defies state Ebola quarantine, leaves home

Kaci Hickox left her home in the small northern Maine town of Fort Kent to take a morning bicycle ride with her boyfriend, MSNBC and other networks reported.

Updated:October 30, 2014, 9:25 PM IST
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Maine nurse defies state Ebola quarantine, leaves home
Kaci Hickox left her home in the small northern Maine town of Fort Kent to take a morning bicycle ride with her boyfriend, MSNBC and other networks reported.

A nurse in Maine, vowing not to be bullied by politicians and threatening to sue the New England state over an Ebola quarantine she calls scientifically unsound, defied the order and left her home for a bike ride on Thursday, according to television images.

Kaci Hickox left her home in the small northern Maine town of Fort Kent to take a morning bicycle ride with her boyfriend, MSNBC and other networks reported. Hickox, who tested negative for the virus after returning from treating Ebola patients in Sierra Leone, said that she plans to take the issue to court if Maine did not lift the quarantine by Thursday.

The 33-year-old nurse's confrontation with state officials in Maine - and New Jersey - highlights how U.S. states are struggling to protect their citizens from Ebola without resorting to overzealous, useless precautions or violating civil rights.

Hickox previously blasted New Jersey Governor Chris Christie after she was taken from Newark's airport and put in quarantine in a tent before being driven to Maine to spend the rest of her 21-day quarantine at her home. Twenty-one days is the maximum incubation period for Ebola.

Maine Republican Governor Paul LePage, who is in a tough re-election battle, said he would seek legal authority to keep her isolated at home until Nov. 10.

Ebola is spread through contact with bodily fluids from a person showing symptoms. The virus is not airborne.

The disease has killed about 5,000 people, all but a few of them in three impoverished West African countries: Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia.

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