Ebola Quarantine Acceptable to New Jersey Voters

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A poll conducted in New Jersey revealed that most voters agreed with Gov. Chris Christie's decision to quarantine a nurse from Maine who had recently spent time in West Africa.

Doctors Without Borders member Kaci Hickox returned from Sierra Leone on October 24, and was involuntarily quarantined at New Jersey's University Hospital. At the time, a slightly feverish Hickox protested that she felt vilified, and was allowed to travel to her Fort Kent, Maine home on October 27. She was ordered to remain inside her house and monitor herself for symptoms, under threat of legal action.

In the poll conducted by Monmouth University, roughly two-thirds of voters agreed with Christie's decision to quarantine Hickox. Only 27 percent of the respondents disapproved of Christie's actions, and Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, commented, "Gov. Christie has made a good read of how uneasy the public is with the seemingly uncertain response from the feds. The Ebola issue has offered him an opportunity to take on the mantle of leadership."

Christie said that Hickox was sent to the hospital after touching down at Newark Liberty International Airport because she had a fever, but Hickox has insisted that she developed no Ebola symptoms the entire time she was held in New Jersey.

Manifestation of Ebola begins with a sudden onset of an influenza-like stage characterized by general malaise, fever with chills and chest pain. Nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhea and vomiting are also common symptoms. Regarding the central nervous system, victims experience severe headaches, agitation, confusion, fatigue, depression, seizures and sometimes coma.

Those who contract Ebola typically die of multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS) due to fluid redistribution, hypotension, weakened intravascular coagulation and focal tissue necrosis. The hemorrhaging that comes with the disease is typically not the cause of death.

Healthcare workers are especially susceptible to catching the Ebola virus, and CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden commented that moving patients has the potential to do more harm than good.

Of the 802 voters surveyed, 88 percent said they were well aware of the Ebola issue, though only 26 percent said they felt like the virus was a significant public health hazard.