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Mandatory Quarantines Alarm Ebola Workers About to Come Home

Save The Chil­dren(NEW YORK) — Gregg Ramm is help­ing to bat­tle Ebola in Liberia, but he fears that if he comes home like he plans to in two weeks, he will be put in quar­an­tine and will miss Thanks­giv­ing with his family.

He also believes that the manda­tory quar­an­tine pol­icy by New Jer­sey and New York will make recruit­ing doc­tors and nurses to care for Ebola patients — already dif­fi­cult — even harder.

Ramm said vol­un­teers in Liberia are alarmed by the pic­tures of nurse Kaci Hickox, who treated Ebola patients in Sierra Leone, being quar­an­tined in a tent at a New Jer­sey hos­pi­tal after arriv­ing on a flight at Newark Air­port on Fri­day. Hickox was dis­charged Mon­day and was en route to her home in Maine.

Of course this does not make me happy and it also doesn’t make sense,” said Ramm, the interim coun­try direc­tor in Liberia for Save the Children.

Ramm, 52, has been in the Ebola-ravaged West African coun­try for four weeks and plans to return to the U.S. in about two weeks. He said he is wor­ried that he will be stuck in quar­an­tine for three weeks.

I was plan­ning on spend­ing Thanks­giv­ing with my fam­ily,” said Ramm, who lives in Wash­ing­ton, D.C. “It is dif­fi­cult to imag­ine remain­ing in a tent for 21 days like that nurse I saw on the news today.”

New Jer­sey Gov. Chris Christie said Mon­day that health­care work­ers return­ing from West Africa can be quar­an­tined in their homes if they are not show­ing any symp­toms, like a fever or vom­it­ing. The rules for New York and other states are similar.

Hickox was held in quar­an­tine in New Jer­sey because there were no imme­di­ate plans to get her safely to Maine, and she then briefly devel­oped a fever while in quarantine.

Ramm, who would land in Washington’s Dulles Air­port, said that aid and health­care work­ers based in Liberia are buzzing about the new quar­an­tine rules. Most peo­ple find them con­fus­ing and unclear, he said, and the pre­vail­ing opin­ion is that manda­tory quar­an­tine is an unnec­es­sary and unsci­en­tific step.

Since the virus can­not spread unless a per­son shows symp­toms, they believe it is a waste of time to keep peo­ple seg­re­gated when they are healthy and mon­i­tor­ing body tem­per­a­ture on a reg­u­lar basis, he said. Ramm said tak­ing your tem­per­a­ture sev­eral times daily is already a way of life in Liberia.

Ramm said he and oth­ers are also wor­ried about what the quar­an­tines will do to their recruit­ing efforts.

Get­ting peo­ple to come here and help is already a dif­fi­cult job. This will only make it harder,” he said.

It’s unclear how many for­eign aid work­ers are cur­rently treat­ing Ebola patients in West Africa. Save the Chil­dren cur­rently has 34 staff mem­bers in var­i­ous parts of West Africa, a spokesman for the orga­ni­za­tion said. Spokes­men for the World Health Orga­ni­za­tion and Doc­tors With­out Bor­ders said that both orga­ni­za­tions have had over 700 per­son­nel travel to affected coun­tries since the out­break began in March. Nei­ther group could imme­di­ately pin­point how many of these were American.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio


Why There's So Much Controversy Surrounding Ebola Quarantine Orders

ABC News(NEW YORK) — At least seven states have issued tougher rules for trav­el­ers return­ing from Ebola-affected regions, some with manda­tory quar­an­tines going above and beyond fed­eral guidelines.

The moves are con­tro­ver­sial and have sent politi­cians backpedal­ing and lawyers read­ing between the lines.

What are states doing?

A day after New York doc­tor Craig Spencer was diag­nosed with Ebola after trav­el­ing home from treat­ing Ebola patients in West Africa, the gov­er­nors of New York and New Jer­sey announced that they would enforce manda­tory quar­an­tines for all trav­el­ers who had close con­tact with Ebola-infected peo­ple and were arriv­ing from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone — the three coun­tries hit hard­est by the cur­rent epidemic.

Later the same day, the Illi­nois Depart­ment of Pub­lic Health also announced a manda­tory 21-day home quar­an­tine for high-risk indi­vid­u­als who cared for Ebola patients in the same countries.

This pro­tec­tive mea­sure is too impor­tant to be vol­un­tary,” Illi­nois Gov. Pat Quinn said in a state­ment. “We must take every step nec­es­sary to ensure the peo­ple of Illi­nois are pro­tected from poten­tial expo­sure to the Ebola virus. While we have no con­firmed cases of the Ebola virus in Illi­nois, we will con­tinue to take every safe­guard nec­es­sary to pro­tect first respon­ders, health­care work­ers and the peo­ple of Illinois.”

Late Sun­day night, the gov­er­nors of New York and New Jer­sey stressed that they would allow home quar­an­tines with twice-daily mon­i­tor­ing from health offi­cials. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said manda­tory hos­pi­tal quar­an­tines would only be required of high-risk indi­vid­u­als arriv­ing to New York and New Jer­sey who are not from either of those states.

Florida, Maine, Mary­land, Min­nesota and Vir­ginia also announced tougher rules for trav­el­ers return­ing from Ebola-affected regions with the pos­si­bil­ity of home quarantine.

Have they quar­an­tined any­one yet?

Yes. On Fri­day, nurse Kaci Hickox was return­ing from Sierra Leone, where she had been treat­ing Ebola patients, when she was detained and inter­ro­gated at Newark Lib­erty Inter­na­tional Air­port in New Jer­sey. She had no symp­toms but was held against her will until Mon­day, when they announced they would release her.

Hickox detailed her ordeal in an op-ed for the Dal­las Morn­ing News, describ­ing how she was held for six hours at the air­port as she was treated “like a criminal.”

In a text mes­sage Mon­day morn­ing, she told ABC News Chief Health and Med­ical Edi­tor Dr. Richard Besser, “I’m so thank­ful for the immense atten­tion and sup­port I’ve received. I just hope this night­mare of mine and the fight that I’ve under­taken is not in vain!”

Hickox has tested neg­a­tive for the virus twice but was held in a quar­an­tine tent at Uni­ver­sity Hos­pi­tal in Newark any­way. Her lawyer argued that her basic human rights were being violated.

She was released Mon­day to return home to Maine, where offi­cials said they will require her to be under quar­an­tine with active mon­i­tor­ing for the remain­der of the 21 days — the incu­ba­tion period for Ebola.

Why are the quar­an­tines controversial?

It doesn’t mesh with Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion guide­lines, which assume that some­one isn’t con­ta­gious until Ebola symp­toms appear. And even then, trans­mis­sion requires con­tact with bod­ily flu­ids like blood and vomit.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, direc­tor of the National Insti­tute of Allergy and Infec­tious Dis­eases, said Sun­day on ABC News’ This Week, “As a sci­en­tist and as a health per­son, if I were asked, I would not have rec­om­mended [manda­tory quarantines].”

What are the fed­eral rules?

The CDC announced on Oct. 22 that all air­line pas­sen­gers trav­el­ing from Ebola-affected nations would get Ebola kits and be required to self-monitor for 21 days, which is the max­i­mum length of time it takes some­one exposed to the virus to show symp­toms. They are required to take their tem­per­a­ture twice daily and answer sev­eral ques­tions about their symp­toms, accord­ing to the CDC. If they do not report, they will be tracked down, the agency said.

Under CDC rules, doc­tors return­ing from treat­ing Ebola patients in West Africa need to mon­i­tor their symp­toms for 21 days, not quar­an­tine them­selves. Doc­tors With­out Bor­ders has sim­i­lar guidelines.

Self-quarantine is nei­ther war­ranted nor rec­om­mended when a per­son is not dis­play­ing Ebola-like symp­toms,” Doc­tors With­out Bor­ders said Thurs­day in a state­ment. “How­ever, returned staff mem­bers are dis­cour­aged from return­ing to work dur­ing the 21-day period.”

Are the quar­an­tines legal?

Pub­lic health lawyer Wendy Mariner, who teaches at Boston Uni­ver­sity School of Law, said the legal­i­ties of the quar­an­tines depend on the laws in the states man­dat­ing them. In New York, the 9/11 attacks prompted the cre­ation of stronger laws, allow­ing for peo­ple to be detained “even if they only might have been exposed to some­one who might be sick,” she said.

That’s a pretty broad deter­mi­na­tion, which, to my knowl­edge, has not been chal­lenged,” she said, adding that her col­leagues think it’s not an issue of the pub­lic pan­ick­ing — it’s an issue of politi­cians pan­ick­ing in an elec­tion year.

Still, she said that if Pres­i­dent Barack Obama wanted to for­mally declare the quar­an­tines a national secu­rity issue, he could over­ride the states. She said because they relate to bor­ders, it is a fed­eral matter.

North­west­ern Uni­ver­sity pro­fes­sor of con­sti­tu­tional law Eugene Kon­torovich dis­agreed, say­ing that state offi­cials have the right to keep possibly-infected indi­vid­u­als from mov­ing around their territories.

The pres­i­dent is not doing that and not going to do that for polit­i­cal rea­sons,” Kon­torovich said. “Over­rid­ing quar­an­tines puts it all on him if it doesn’t work out.”

Mariner said she thinks the quar­an­tines are prob­lem­atic — and could become a fed­eral mat­ter — because they will dis­cour­age health work­ers from trav­el­ing to West Africa to stop the Ebola out­break at its source.

It’s a lit­tle odd to sin­gle them out,” she said, adding that health work­ers are more likely to want to keep from spread­ing the dis­ease they’ve been fight­ing and more likely to rec­og­nize the symp­toms. “If you sin­gle out any­one who works with Ebola then you prob­a­bly have to quar­an­tine U.S. health­care work­ers and U.S. hos­pi­tal work­ers treat­ing Ebola patients.”

Do these quar­an­tines vio­late the Constitution?

Since the United States has a his­tory of uphold­ing quar­an­tines, Kon­torovich said the states have the right to enforce quar­an­tines beyond the CDC guide­lines. He said states wouldn’t be able to impose a quar­an­tine for the com­mon cold, but because Ebola is a fatal dis­ease with no cure, strict quar­an­tines are permissible.

Kon­torovich said Hickox’s sit­u­a­tion reminded him of a 1963 case in which a woman return­ing from Europe was iso­lated because she had trav­eled to a town in the midst of a small­pox out­break. The woman, despite tak­ing the mat­ter to court, was quar­an­tined for 14 days upon her return to New York even though she wasn’t sick.

The states get to decide how they want to pro­tect their cit­i­zens, he noted, and don’t have to be con­ser­v­a­tive to do so. The greater good of the state out­weighs the individual’s free­doms for three weeks, he said, adding that he’s glad New York has announced that it will be com­pen­sat­ing the peo­ple it quarantines.

State gov­ern­ments can either be too strict and sac­ri­fice a hand­ful of people’s free­dom for 21 days or be too lax and allow peo­ple to become infected, he said. As a result, it would rather err on the side of caution.

Once peo­ple are infected, you can’t make them healthy, you can’t put them back in the box,” he said.

Self-monitoring assumes peo­ple will be com­pli­ant, he said, but there’s no need for states to trust that this will happen.

Your neigh­bors are not required to trust you,” Kon­torovich said.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio


Halloween Candy Swaps to Save You Calories

ABC News(NEW YORK) — Hal­loween marks the end of Octo­ber and the begin­ning of diet-busting sea­son. But before you dive into the Hal­loween good­ies, Dave Zinczenko, ABC nutrition-wellness edi­tor and author of best­selling book series Eat This, Not That!, explains how choos­ing smaller sized can­dies can do less dam­age to your waistline.

The aver­age Amer­i­can eats more than 24 pounds of candy each year. Mak­ing these smart swaps can save each per­son as many as 100 calo­ries a day, or as much as 10 pounds per year.

How the Can­dies Compare:

Reese’s Peanut But­ter Cups (1.5 ounces) vs. But­terfin­ger Orig­i­nal (2 ounces, or 25 per­cent larger than the Reese’s). Which do you think packs more of a punch?

The Reese’s has 210 cals, 13 g fat, 4.5 sat fat, 21 g sugar, while the But­terfin­ger has 270 cals, 11 g fat, 6 g sat fat, 29g sugar.

Because the Reese’s is smaller, the big dif­fer­ence here is sugar. The Amer­i­can Heart Asso­ci­a­tion wants adult women to eat no more than 25 grams a day. With But­terfin­ger, you’re already over that total with one bar, Zinczenko said.

Eat this: Reese’s Peanut But­ter Cups. It’ll save you 60 calo­ries and 8 grams of sugar.

M&M’s Pret­zels (32.3 grams) vs. M&M’s Dark Choco­late (47.9 grams). Which has more than twice the fat of the other?

The M&M’s Pret­zels has 150 cals, 4.5g fat, 3g sat fat, 17g sugar, while the M&M’s Dark Choco­late has 240 cals, 11g fat, 7g sat fat, 27g sugar. The Dark Choco­late pack­age is actu­ally heav­ier than the regular-sized bag of M&M Pret­zels, but even so, they still have more calo­ries, fat and sugar per gram than the M&M Pretzels.

Eat this: M&M Pret­zels will save you 90 calo­ries and 6.5 grams of fat.

York Pep­per­mint Pat­ties (1.4 ounce) vs. Mounds Bar (1.75 ounce). Which of these cream-filled can­dies will save you 100 calories?

The York Pep­per­mint Pat­tie has 140 cals, 2.5g fat, 1.5g sat fat, 25g sugar, while the Mounds Bar, which is 25 per­cent larger, has 240 cals, 13g fat, 10g sat fat, 21g sugar. The Mounds bar has half a day’s worth of sat­u­rated fat. You’d have to eat seven Pep­per­mint Pat­ties to get as much sat­u­rated fat as in one Mounds bar, Zinczenko said.

Eat this: York Pep­per­mint Pat­tie, which saves you 100 calo­ries and 8.5 grams of fat.

Three rolls of Smar­ties (7g per roll) vs. 1 pack­age of Sweet Tarts (51 grams).

Each roll of Smar­ties has 25 cals, 0 fat, 6g sugar, so 3 rolls weigh 21 g with 75 cals, 0g fat, 18g sugar. While the one pack­age of the Sweet Tarts has 1.8 ounces (or 51 grams), it’s impor­tant to note that each roll of Sweet Tarts is approx­i­mately three serv­ings (with eight pieces per serv­ing). Per serv­ing, that’s 50 cals, 0 fat, 13g sugar and for three serv­ings it comes out to a total of 150 cals, 0 fat, 39g sugar.

So which of these will give you 50 per­cent less sugar? Zinczenko said this is a great exam­ple of “unit bias,” which means a per­son is more likely to see the Sweet Tarts roll as one unit/one serv­ing. Closer exam­i­na­tion of the label reveals what the candy maker believes is a serving.

Eat this: Three rolls of Smar­ties will save you 75 calo­ries and 21 grams of sugar.

Learn more about smart swaps at

ABC News reached out to all of the com­pa­nies for com­ment, and here are their responses:

Response State­ment from Hershey’s:
As one of America’s most beloved brands, Reese’s Peanut But­ter Cups have been enjoyed by con­sumers for more than 80 years. With this rich her­itage and long­stand­ing com­mit­ment to qual­ity, only Reese’s can deliver the authen­tic, per­fect com­bi­na­tion of choco­late and peanut but­ter. The supe­rior taste syn­ony­mous with Reese’s makes it one of the most pop­u­lar Hal­loween and every­day candies.

Response State­ment from MARS:
All sin­gle serve Mars Choco­late prod­ucts around the world are 250 calo­ries or less as part of our com­mit­ment to pro­vide con­sumers with treats that can be enjoyed as part of a healthy, bal­anced lifestyle.

Response State­ment from Smar­ties:
Smar­ties® Candy Com­pany, now in our 65th year, is proud to par­tic­i­pate in enhanc­ing the fun at Hal­loween for the chil­dren. Smar­ties® are only 25 calo­ries per candy roll, fat free, gluten free, and pack­aged in a tam­per evi­dent wrap­per. Candy is a treat and never meant to replace a bal­anced diet and exercise.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio


Daphne Oz on Losing Baby Weight: ‘Your Body Does Not Instantly Bounce Back’

ABC/Jeff Neira(NEW YORK) — Since giv­ing birth to her first child in Feb­ru­ary, Daphne Oz has learned first-hand how hard it is to shed the baby weight and says moms need to cut them­selves some slack.

There’s a big gap between what peo­ple hear and how it actu­ally is,” The Chew co-host told the November/December 2014 issue of Fit­ness mag­a­zine. “Every­one needs to choose what works for them, and it’s not fair to you to com­pare your progress to oth­ers. We have to rein­force that shed­ding pounds is a long, hard process.”

The 28-year-old daugh­ter of Dr. Mehmet Oz wel­comed a daugh­ter, Philom­ena, with her hus­band, John Jovanovic, in February.

Imme­di­ately after giv­ing birth, she said she was sur­prised to learn that she still looked pregnant.

You still look six months preg­nant once you’re home from the hos­pi­tal. Your body does not instantly bounce back,” she told Fit­ness. “I don’t own a scale, because it would make me neu­rotic, but I thought I knew where I’d be when I went for my first doc­tor appoint­ment a few weeks after giv­ing birth. I’d lost only 10 pounds!”

Now, she said, she is in no rush to drop the baby weight.

It’s a pri­or­ity, but it’s one of many. I’m breast-feeding, so my pri­or­i­ties include eat­ing to nour­ish my baby, gain­ing mus­cle tone and feel­ing good. It’s about being back in charge of my body,” she said. “The weight isn’t pour­ing off, but I fig­ure that it takes nine months to have a baby and it’ll take at least that long for it to come off.”

As for her work­out rou­tine as a new mom?

I fig­ure out how much time I have and adjust my rou­tine to fit. Philom­ena loves being in the stroller or car­rier, so that’s how I’ll get a walk in. I run about four miles three to four times a week, and I inter­sperse that with half-hour online work­outs,” she said.

To keep her­self moti­vated, even when she’s too tired to exer­cise, Oz said, “I put on my work­out clothes, and I don’t let myself think about it. Once I’m out for a run or doing a video, I’m on my way to fin­ish­ing it. The 10 min­utes between wak­ing up and show­ing up are the most dangerous.”

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio


How Tom the Cat Brings Comfort to Dying Patients

Mar­ian McConnell(NEW YORK) — In the finals moments of his life, Edwin Gehlert was sur­rounded by his fam­ily and loved ones. But as he took his last breaths, a some­what unfa­mil­iar face was curled up right next to Gehlert on his hos­pi­tal bed. That face belonged to Tom, the tabby cat.

We had seen Tom in and out of daddy’s room on a few of our vis­its,” Gehlert’s daugh­ter Pam Thomp­son said. “But on that day it’s like he knew some­thing was different.”

Tom sat with Gehlert and com­forted him and his fam­ily, plac­ing his paw in Gehlert’s hand imme­di­ately after his passing.

I would never have believed a cat could have touched my heart like this cat did, but I truly felt like God was speak­ing to me that after­noon through Tom,” Thomp­son said. “It was as if Tom’s paw was God’s hand lead­ing my daddy up towards that light to heaven, just as I had been beg­ging him to do for weeks.”

Tom is respon­si­ble for many com­fort­ing sto­ries since arriv­ing at the VA Med­ical Cen­ter in Salem, Vir­ginia, in May 2012.

Laura Hart, the lead physician’s assis­tant at the Salem VA, said she came up with the idea to bring Tom to the pal­lia­tive care unit after hear­ing Dr. David Dosa speak at a con­fer­ence in Den­ver. Dosa is the author of Mak­ing Rounds with Oscar, a book about a cat named Oscar who com­forted Alzheimer’s patients in a nurs­ing cen­ter in Rhode Island.

We’re try­ing to make it a home-like envi­ron­ment, which is hard to do in a hos­pi­tal,” Hart said. “But we know the lit­tle things, like a pet, make it more bearable.”

Hart and col­league Dot­tie Rizzo, the VA’s hos­pice and pal­lia­tive care coor­di­na­tor, then began their search for the per­fect cat. They found a vet­eri­nar­ian in Salem who asked local shel­ters for a cat that they think would fit the bill. Salem Ani­mal Shel­ter imme­di­ately thought of their cat Tom. He ended up being the per­fect match.

We have seen first-hand the impact that he makes on the fam­i­lies and the patients and even our staff,” Rizzo said. “A hos­pice can be a really sad place to be and work and Tom brings a calm­ness and nor­malcy to our unit. We try to be a home-like envi­ron­ment and a pet kind of takes it to the level that maybe it is a lit­tle more like home here with him.”

Tom helps lift the spir­its of patients, fam­i­lies and staff alike, Hart said, not­ing that fam­i­lies are com­forted by his pres­ence, know­ing that when they leave the VA their loved ones will find com­pany in a small, furry friend.

Fam­i­lies don’t want their loved ones being alone, and it’s com­fort­ing for them to know Tom is there,” Hart said. “And it’s amaz­ing how many of the fam­i­lies really feel that Tom is there to be with their fam­ily mem­ber when they die, whether he kind of comes and herds the fam­ily into the room right before the patient passes, or he just curls up on a patient’s bed in their final hours.”

And that expe­ri­ence leaves fam­i­lies with a lit­tle more peace and seren­ity in some of their tough­est moments, just like it did for Thomp­son and her family.

I left the VA that after­noon with a smile on my face and love in my heart know­ing that my father was now at peace and on his way to a won­der­ful new adven­ture and it was all with the help of Tom the Cat,” Thomp­son said.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio


Moms Stressed Out by Social Media Want to Go Offline

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — More moms are admit­ting that social media can be a seri­ous stress fac­tor in their lives, and a new sur­vey sug­gests that many of them are think­ing about pulling the plug.

For new moms it’s a great place to ask for par­ent­ing advice, but then on the other side, you get some who are too opin­ion­ated and that can get in the way,” said Fran­cisa Morales, a stay-at-home-mom of two from New York. “I don’t have time to post every­thing I do and that’s where it seems like peo­ple are try­ing to make their lives seem per­fect, when they post every lit­tle thing about their lives.”

Just as moth­ers are affirm­ing some frus­tra­tions with social media, researchers are estab­lish­ing that there is in fact a con­nec­tion between moms and social media stress.

The online sur­vey found that out of 1,400 moth­ers, 53 per­cent of the women con­sid­ered tak­ing a break from social media. Sixty per­cent of younger moms ages 18 to 24 said they wish to cut back on plat­forms such as Face­book and Instagram.

The opt-in sur­vey was admin­is­tered by Impulse Research, a com­mu­ni­ca­tions and mar­ket­ing research firm, and pub­lished by Cur­rent Lifestyle Mar­ket­ing this year.

Through ongo­ing research we started notic­ing a trend of moms com­ment­ing that they are get­ting sick of social, mil­len­nial moms can be par­tic­u­larly vocal about it,” says Amy Colton, exec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent of Cur­rent Mar­ket­ing. “We wanted to check the trend, so we con­ducted quan­ti­ta­tive research to con­firm what we have been hearing.”

The sur­vey did not define how long peo­ple would like to unplug from social media, but asked “Do you ever con­sider stop­ping use of, or tak­ing a break from, social media because you are burned out or frus­trated with it?”

Mil­len­nial moms had spe­cific rea­sons for want­ing to lay off social media platforms.

The num­ber one rea­son moms cited was peo­ple shar­ing too much infor­ma­tion, while mil­len­nial moms cited annoy­ing invites and excess brand mar­ket­ing as their top reasons.

We are becom­ing per­form­ers on social media,” said Suzana Flo­res, a clin­i­cal psy­chol­o­gist and an expert on emo­tional side effects of social media.

Our friends are no longer our friends, they’re our audi­ence, so there’s this com­pe­ti­tion of one-upmanship,” said, Flo­res, author of Face­hooked: How Face­book Affects Our Emo­tions, Rela­tion­ships, and Lives.

The sur­vey also finds that young moms often feel the pres­sure to present per­fect lives on social channels.

We selec­tively choose what we post and how we per­ceive our­selves,” Flo­res said. “Face­book and other net­works are incred­i­ble ways to seek encour­age­ment and val­i­da­tion. Hear­ing that ‘you’re a good mom’ is some­thing every­one wants to hear. The neg­a­tive side is that we no longer trust our inner voice and rely on the exter­nal noise of social media to deter­mine our self-worth.”

It’s about learn­ing to main­tain a bal­ance,” Flo­res said. “The dig­i­tal world should be sec­ond to our real-life relationships.”

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio


Quarantined Ebola Nurse Kaci Hickox to Be Released by New Jersey

Hand­out Phot(NEWARK, N.J.) — New Jer­sey has decided to release a nurse who was forcibly quar­an­tined after she returned from Africa where she treated Ebola patients.

The release was announced Mon­day morn­ing after Kaci Hickox, hired a lawyer to sue over her manda­tory quar­an­tine for 21 days. Shortly before the deci­sion by the New Jer­sey Health Depart­ment, the nurse said she hopes “this night­mare of mine and the fight that I’ve under­taken is not in vain.”

Hickox, who has no signs of the lethal virus, has announced that she intends to sue over New Jer­sey Gov. Chris Christie’s pol­icy of a 21-day manda­tory quar­an­tine for health care work­ers return­ing from help­ing Ebola patients in West Africa.

Mon­day morn­ing, the nurse sent a mes­sage to ABC News’ Chief Health and Med­ical Edi­tor Dr. Richard Besser thank­ing peo­ple for tak­ing her side.

I’m so thank­ful for the immense atten­tion and sup­port I’ve received. I just hope this night­mare of mine and the fight that I’ve under­taken is not in vain!” Hickox wrote.

Hickox, 33, has hired civil rights attor­ney Nor­man Siegel to fight her manda­tory quar­an­tine. The nurse has said she feels that her “basic human rights are being vio­lated,” kept in a iso­la­tion tent at Uni­ver­sisty Hos­pi­tal in Newark, despite show­ing no symp­toms of the Ebola virus.

Med­ically speak­ing there’s no rea­son for the state of New Jer­sey to keep her quar­an­tined,” Siegel said out­side the hos­pi­tal on Sun­day. “She very sim­ply wants to be released. We will advo­cate for the state of New Jer­sey and the gov­er­nor to release her as soon as possible.”

Hickox, who was treat­ing Ebola patients in Sierra Leone for Doc­tors With­out Bor­ders, never reg­is­tered a fever so there is no med­ical rea­son to keep her quar­an­tined, he said.

She is the first per­son quar­an­tined under a new strict pol­icy insti­tuted by Christie on Friday.

New York, Illi­nois and Florida also insti­tuted manda­tory quar­an­tines for any­one exposed to peo­ple infected with Ebola health. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that the state will allow home quar­an­tines for peo­ple show­ing no symp­toms, rather than requir­ing iso­la­tion in hospitals.

The poli­cies have drawn the atten­tion of the Obama admin­is­tra­tion, which told the gov­er­nors of New Jer­sey and New York that there are “con­cerns” about the manda­tory quar­an­tines, a senior admin­is­tra­tion offi­cial said today.

Hickox told CNN she is being held in a “tent struc­ture” out­side of Uni­ver­sity Hos­pi­tal, “with a port-a-potty like struc­ture and no shower and no con­nec­tion to the out­side world except my iPhone.”

This is an extreme that is really unac­cept­able, and I feel like my basic human rights have been vio­lated,” Hickox told CNN.

Med­ical experts say that there is no rea­son for manda­tory quar­an­tines, since unless a per­son is show­ing symp­toms of Ebola, they are not contagious.

As a sci­en­tist and as a health per­son, if I were asked I would not have rec­om­mended [manda­tory quar­an­tines],” Dr. Anthony Fauci, direc­tor of NIH’s National Insti­tute of Allergy and Infec­tious Dis­eases, said Sun­day on This Week.

Christie has said he con­cluded the quar­an­tine was nec­es­sary to pro­tect pub­lic health in his state and that he thinks the CDC “even­tu­ally will come around to our point of view on this.”

A New York doc­tor, Craig Spencer, who returned from treat­ing Ebola patients in Africa has tested pos­i­tive for the virus and is being treated at Belle­vue Hos­pi­tal in Man­hat­tan. His fiancee, Mor­gan Dixon, and two other peo­ple he came into close con­tact with have also been quar­an­tined, but they haven’t shown any symptoms.

In addi­tion, a 5-year-old boy who returned from Guinea on Sat­ur­day was taken to a New York City hos­pi­tal on Sun­day with Ebola-like symp­toms. When the boy’s tem­per­a­ture spiked this morn­ing, doc­tors decided to test him for Ebola.

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NYC Ebola Patient 'Looks Better' After Plasma Treatment

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A New York City doc­tor, who tested pos­i­tive for Ebola when he returned to the city after treat­ing Ebola patients in Guinea, “looks bet­ter today than yes­ter­day,” but is in seri­ous but sta­ble con­di­tion, health offi­cials said.

Dr. Craig Spencer, who is in iso­la­tion at Belle­vue Hos­pi­tal, received plasma treat­ments Sat­ur­day, when doc­tors said his ill­ness had entered a “more seri­ous, but expected stage.”

He tol­er­ated the plasma treat­ment which was given to him yes­ter­day well, and he had a good night’s sleep,” Ram Raju, head of the city’s Health and Hos­pi­tals Cor­po­ra­tion, said.

Health offi­cials did not iden­tify the source of the plasma, but the aid agency SIM Char­ity told ABC news that health worker Nancy Write­bol, who sur­vived Ebola she con­tracted in Liberia, donated blood to Spencer.

New York City Mayor Bill de Bla­sio said he spoke with Spencer for 10 or 12 min­utes by phone on Saturday.

This is an incred­i­ble noble human being,” the mayor said. “He ran towards the dan­ger to pro­tect the entire world.”

Spencer, 33, had been treat­ing Ebola patients in Guinea until Oct. 12, New York City Depart­ment of Health Com­mis­sioner Dr. Mary Bas­sett said. Spencer left Guinea on Oct. 14 and arrived at New York’s John F. Kennedy Inter­na­tional Air­port on Oct. 17 fol­low­ing a stopover in Brus­sels, Belgium.

Doc­tors With­out Bor­ders Guide­lines requires doc­tors like Spencer to take their tem­per­a­ture twice a day and to stay within four hours of a hos­pi­tal for the 21-day incu­ba­tion period. They are also sup­posed to con­tact Doc­tors With­out Bor­ders if they devel­oped any symptoms.

On Thurs­day morn­ing, Spencer recorded a tem­per­a­ture of 100.3 and called Doc­tors With­out Bor­ders, who con­tacted New York author­i­ties. Emer­gency respon­ders arrived at his north­ern Man­hat­tan apart­ment in full pro­tec­tive gear and took him to Belle­vue, where he was placed in iso­la­tion and later diag­nosed with Ebola, accord­ing to officials.

Spencer’s fiancee and two friends who were deter­mined to be at risk of hav­ing con­tracted the dis­ease from him have also been quar­an­tined in their homes until Nov. 14, city health offi­cials said.

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