A Texas nurse who recently returned from treating Ebola patients in Sierra Leone has agreed to self-quarantine at home for 21 days and undergo frequent monitoring from state health officials, Gov. Rick Perry announced Wednesday. The unnamed nurse will remain in her Austin home despite not showing any signs of the deadly disease.
Texas health officials met the nurse after she landed at Austin-Bergstrom Airport. She has not been named to protect her privacy. Perry spoke with the nurse over the phone to thank her for working to fight Ebola. “In Texas, we have a great tradition of welcoming our heroes back home, and this heroic individual deserves our appreciation, our compassion and our utmost respect,” he said in a statement. “The tremendous work that she and so many other health care workers are doing in West Africa is making life better for those in afflicted countries and helps protect the rest of the world from the spread of this terrible disease; they are doing vitally important work that makes us all proud.”
Perry said the quarantine shouldn't deter other health workers from going to stem the Ebola outbreak that has devastated Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone in West Africa. “This health care hero has made a great sacrifice in traveling abroad to minister to those who are suffering,” said Perry, according to CBS. “Even now home in Texas, she continues to demonstrate her selflessness by agreeing to quarantine herself and further protect her fellow Texans.”
President Barack Obama discouraged state leaders from quarantining health care workers returning from West Africa during a strongly worded speech Tuesday aimed at reassuring the American public that Ebola is not a threat. "We don't want to discourage our health care workers from going to the front lines and dealing with this in an effective way," Obama said. "We have to make sure that we continue to provide the support of health workers who are going overseas to deal with the disease where it really has been raging."