A nurse who recently treated Ebola patients in Sierra Leone says she was forced into an inhumane hospital quarantine, despite testing negative for the virus.

A representative for Kaci Hickox, 33, told reporters Sunday that Hickox will file a federal lawsuit challenging her mandatory quarantine at a New Jersey hospital. Currently New York and New Jersey are imposing mandatory quarantines on people determined to be "high-risk."

Hickox was detained when she flew into Newark Airport in New Jersey on Friday and eventually placed under a mandatory quarantine. When airport officials initially took her temperature, it was a reported 98 degrees. A second reading hours later came back at 101, and Hickox was taken to University Hospital and placed in quarantine.

Hickox says that when she arrived at the hospital, her temperature had dropped to 98.6 degrees and tests for the Ebola virus came back negative.

Now Hickox says she wants to sue over the involuntary quarantine. Civil rights attorney Norman Siegel said he plans to file a federal suit challenging the broad order "within the next week."

According to the Wall Street Journal:

Ms. Hickox's mother, Karen Hickox, said in an interview that her daughter was being held in an isolation tent that has an air system and a portable toilet, but no shower. She said her daughter has been given hospital food by attendants dressed in full protective suits—the uniforms Ms. Hickox wore to treat sick patients on a five-week trip to Sierra Leone.

"There is no TV, no books, no magazines, nothing," said Karen Hickox, who lives in Rio Vista, Texas, a city roughly 40 miles south of Fort Worth. Her daughter called on Saturday morning in tears.


Doctors Without Borders said the tent wasn't heated and that Ms. Hickox was forced to wear uncomfortable paper scrubs. The organization said she hasn't been informed about what comes next and has been issued an order of quarantine that doesn't indicate how long she will remain in isolation.

Officials told the Journal she's there for 21 days "and may undergo further testing." Hospital employees told the paper Hickox has her cell phone and reading material and has requested and received takeout food.

New York governor Andrew Cuomo announced Sunday that he had revised the state's quarantine policy to allow health care workers to be monitored in their homes. New Jersey governor Chris Christie said he had no plans to change the quarantine requirement.

[image via AP]