Honolulu nurse cleared from Ebola after 21 day quarantine
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - There have now been 10 people in Hawaii on Ebola monitoring and quarantine. None of them came down with the virus including Rene Steinhauer.
After singing to an audience of none Rene Steinhauer is now free to leave his home at anytime. He lives on his boat at Kewalo Basin Harbor and was on limited quarantine the past 21 days.
"When I arrived there were three people from the Hawaii Department of Health waiting for me at the airport," said Steinhauer.
He was sent to Liberia, Africa to help set up and manage an Ebola treatment unit. After six weeks he too got sick.
"They believe it was malaria. I had a fever of unknown origin. I was treated for malaria, typhoid and meningitis," said Steinhauer.
He got better and flew home to Honolulu December 16. But just in case was placed in a limited 21 day quarantine, only allowed to go to the grocery store during nonpeak times.
"What do you take away from this? You take away how fragile these countries are. You can drop 100 Ebola patients in the United States and it still wouldn't do what it did to Liberia. Our system is strong. We've got excellent public health," said Steinhauer. "Being able to see these differences allows me to greatly appreciate what we have here in the United States."
At 49 years old he has been a combat medic in the Army and Air Force and has worked on every continent.
"I've been doing disasters for more than 20 years. I've been in many of the major ones including the Asian tsunami, Hurricane Katrina, the Haiti earthquake and most recently the typhoon in the Philippines," said Steinhauer.
He now has no chance of getting Ebola and is no risk to public health.
"Because of the high consequence of this disease and the high mortality we have to monitor people for that long just to be on the safe side," said Dr. Sarah Park, State Epidemiologist.
It's all another experience to add to his boatload of memories.
about his experience in Haiti, but has no plans to write another about Ebola.
After two decades of emergency work Steinhauer is looking for more stable work and has an interview for a nursing position at Wahiawa General Hospital tomorrow.
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