(Editor’s note: Kaci Hickox, a helper with degrees from a University of Texas during Arlington and a Johns Hopkins University, has been caring for Ebola patients while on assignment with Doctors Without Borders in Sierra Leone. Upon her lapse to a U.S. on Friday, she was placed in quarantine during a New Jersey hospital. She has tested disastrous in a rough exam for Ebola, though a sanatorium says she will sojourn underneath imperative quarantine for 21 days and will be monitored by open health officials. Dr. Seema Yasmin, a Dallas Morning News staff writer, worked with Hickox as a illness investigator with a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. With Yasmin’s help, Hickox wrote this first-person square exclusively for a News.)
I am a helper who has usually returned to a U.S. after operative with Doctors Without Borders in Sierra Leone – an Ebola-affected country. we have been quarantined in New Jersey. This is not a conditions we would wish on anyone, and we am scared for those who will follow me.
I am frightened about how health caring workers will be treated during airports when they announce that they have been fighting Ebola in West Africa. we am frightened that, like me, they will arrive and see a frenzy of disorganization, fear and, many frightening, quarantine.
I arrived during a Newark Liberty International Airport around 1 p.m. on Friday, after a grueling two-day tour from Sierra Leone. we walked adult to the immigration central during a airfield and was greeted with a big smile and a “hello.”
I told him that we have trafficked from Sierra Leone and he replied, a little reduction enthusiastically: “No problem. They are substantially going to ask we a few questions.”
He put on gloves and a facade and called someone. Then he escorted me to the quarantine bureau a few yards away. we was told to lay down. Everyone that came out of a offices was hurrying from room to room in white protecting coveralls, gloves, masks, and a disposable face shield.
One after another, people asked me questions. Some introduced themselves, some didn’t. One male who contingency have been an immigration officer because he was wearing a arms belt that we could see extending from his white coveralls barked questions during me as if we was a criminal.
Two other officials asked about my work in Sierra Leone. One of them was from a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They scribbled notes in a margins of their form, a form that seemed to be inadequate for a many sum they are collecting.
I was tired, inspired and confused, though we attempted to sojourn calm. My temperature was taken regulating a front scanner and it review a temperature of 98. we was feeling physically healthy though emotionally exhausted.
Three hours passed. No one seemed to be in charge. No one would tell me what was going on or what would occur to me.
I called my family to let them know that we was OK. we was inspired and thirsty and asked for something to eat and drink. we was given a granola bar and some water. we wondered what we had finished wrong.
Four hours after we landed during a airport, an central approached me with a front scanner. My cheeks were flushed, we was dissapoint during being held with no explanation. The scanner available my heat as 101.
The womanlike officer looked smug. “You have a heat now,” she said.
I explained that an verbal thermometer would be some-more accurate and that the front scanner was recording an towering heat since I was burning and upset.
I was left alone in a room for another 3 hours. At around 7 p.m., we was told that we contingency go to a internal hospital. we asked for a name and address of a facility. we satisfied that information was usually shared with me if we asked.
Eight military cars escorted me to a University Hospital in Newark. Sirens blared, lights flashed. Again, we wondered what we had finished wrong.
I had spent a month examination children die, alone. we had witnessed human tragedy reveal before my eyes. we had attempted to assistance when most of the universe has looked on and finished nothing.
At a hospital, I was escorted to a tent that sat outward of a building. The infectious illness and puncture dialect doctors took my temperature and other vitals and looked puzzled. “Your heat is 98.6,” they said. “You don’t have a heat though we were told we had a fever.”
After my heat was available as 98.6 on a verbal thermometer, the doctor motionless to see what a front scanner records. It review 101. The alloy felts my neck and looked during a heat again. “There’s no approach we have a fever,” he said. “Your face is usually flushed.”
My blood was taken and tested for Ebola. It came behind negative.
I sat alone in a siege tent and suspicion of many colleagues who will lapse home to America and face a same ordeal. Will they be made to feel like criminals and prisoners?
I removed my final night during a Ebola government core in Sierra Leone. we was called in at midnight because a 10-year-old lady was having seizures. we coaxed dejected tablets of Tylenol and an anti-seizure medicine into her mouth as her physique jolted in a bed.
It was a hardest night of my life. we watched a immature lady die in a tent, divided from her family.
With few resources and no diagnosis for Ebola, we attempted to offer our patients grace and amiability in a face of their measureless suffering.
The widespread continues to harm West Africa. Recently, a World Health Organization announced that as many as 15,000 people have died from Ebola. We need some-more health caring workers to assistance quarrel a widespread in West Africa. The U.S. contingency provide returning health caring workers with dignity and humanity.