Latest Updates / Official: Quarantine Regulations to Deter Health Workers From Fighting Ebola

Florida orders 21-day monitoring for Ebola; N.J. governor defends quarantine imposed on health workers returning from Africa; U.S. ambassador to UN to visit Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

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Health workers from the Liberian Red Cross shovel sand which will be used to absorb fluids emitted from the bodies of Ebola victims in Monrovia, Oct. 23, 2014. Credit: AFP
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Latest updates:

11:39 P.M. West African woman tests negative for Ebola in Australian hospital

An 18-year-old West African woman has tested negative for Ebola after emigrating to Australia from Guinea with her family 12 days ago, state health authorities said on Monday.

Australia has introduced mandatory home quarantine for travellers arriving from the West African countries most affected by the Ebola outbreak. Several people have been tested, but no cases of the deadly disease have been found.

The woman, who has been in home quarantine and monitored by health authorities since her family's arrival, was taken to the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital on Sunday after telling health workers she had developed a fever, Queensland chief health officer Dr. Jeannette Young told a news conference on Sunday. (Reuters)  

4:51 P.M. Florida orders 21-day monitoring for anyone returning from Ebola-affected areas

Florida Governor Rick Scott is ordering twice daily monitoring for anyone returning from places the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention designates as affected by Ebola.

Scott signed the order Saturday, giving the Florida Health Department authority to monitor individuals for 21 days. (AP)

4:04 P.M. N.J. governor defends quarantine imposed on health workers returning from Africa

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie defended his decision to impose a 21-day quarantine on health workers returning to the U.S. from West Africa.

"I don't believe that when you're dealing with something as serious as this that we can count on a voluntary system," he told the "Fox News Sunday" program. "This is government's job. If anything else, the government's job is to protect the safety and health of our citizens."

Asked whether the new rules would discourage health workers from going to West Africa, Christie added, "Folks that are willing to take that step and willing to volunteer also understand that it's in their interest and in the public health's interest to have a 21-day period thereafter if they've been directly exposed to people with the virus." (Reuters) 

3:35 P.M. Official: Quarantine regulations to deter health workers from tackling Ebola in Africa

A senior U.S. medical officer warned on Sunday that there could be unintended consequences from quarantine polices imposed by New Jersey, New York and Illinois on travelers returning from Ebola-affected West Africa who have had contact with the disease.

The new measures could deter healthcare workers from going to West Africa to help fight the epidemic and the best way to protect Americans is to stop Ebola in Africa, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the NIH's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. He was speaking on CNN's "State of the Union" program. (Reuters) 

9:01 A.M. Quarantined New Jersey nurse with Ebola criticizes the way her case has been handled

The nurse who has been quarantined at a New Jersey hospital because she had contact with Ebola patients in West Africa is criticizing the way her case has been handled, raising concerns from humanitarian and human rights groups over unclear policies for the newly launched program.

"This is not a situation I would wish on anyone, and I am scared for those who will follow me," Kaci Hickox wrote in a first-person account for the Dallas Morning News that was posted on the paper's website Saturday. Her preliminary tests for Ebola came back negative

Hickox was the first traveler quarantined under Ebola watches in New Jersey and New York.

In her essay, Hickox described being stopped at Newark Liberty International and questioned for several hours Friday. She said none of the people who questioned her would explain what was going on or what would happen to her.

Hickox is a nurse who had been working with Doctors Without Borders in Sierra Leone. Officials said she was taken to a hospital after developing a fever, but Hickox said she was merely flushed because she was upset by the process.

"Eight police cars escorted me to the University Hospital in Newark. Sirens blared, lights flashed. Again, I wondered what I had done wrong," she wrote. (AP)

2:20 A.M. U.S. ambassador to UN to visit Liberia, Sierra Leone & Guinea
The United States ambassador to the United Nations is going to visit all three of the West African countries hit hardest by the Ebola outbreak. A statement released late Saturday by the U.S. mission to the U.N. says Samantha Power will visit Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea "to draw attention to the need for increased support for the international response."

The statement says Power's trip begins Saturday and ends Thursday, and she also is visiting Ghana and Belgium.

Power is set to visit national Ebola coordination centers and meet with both U.S. and U.N. personnel on the ground in the Ebola-affected region. 

The United Nations has repeatedly called for a greater international response to the worst-ever outbreak of the deadly disease, which has killed more than 4,900 people. (AP)

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