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Texas Places Ebola Patient's Family Under Quarantine, Could Face Charges for Leaving Home

Texas Places Ebola Patient's Family Under Quarantine, Could Face Charges for Leaving Home

The Texas Department of State Health Services ordered the Thomas Eric Duncan’s entire family under quarantine. Duncan is in serious condition with Ebola. The family is not allowed to leave their house or contact anyone for 21 days without approval from the health department.

“We have tried and true protocols to protect the public and stop the spread of this disease,” said Texas Health Commissioner Dr. David Lakey. “This order gives us the ability to monitor the situation in the most meticulous way.”

From USA Today:

The “control order” also requires the family of Thomas Eric Duncan to be available to provide blood samples and agree to any testing required by public health officials.

Officials said Thursday that the four or five family members could face criminal charges for violating the order, which was delivered to them in writing Wednesday evening.

The Texas order covering the four or five family members also instructs them to report any symptoms immediately to Dallas County Health and Human Services. Symptoms include fever above 100.5 degrees, headache, nausea, diarrhea or abdominal pain.

The order is out of caution even though the family members do not show symptoms. Duncan’s partner, only identified as Louise, her 13-year-old child, and two nephews were in the same apartment as Duncan when he became ill.

“She doesn’t know how she’s going to get food into the apartment,” said CNN’s Anderson Cooper. “She was told she said maybe the Red Cross would come by. She’s still waiting for that. Some health officials brought sandwiches last night, but she hasn’t had anything today. She’s certainly kind of at loose ends and is obviously extremely worried.”

Louise told Cooper she did not come into contact with any of Duncan’s bodily fluids, including any vomit. She said Duncan was “prideful” and took care of himself. But the family is still around all towels and sheets he used when he was sick. Louise used bleach, but it is unknown how well she cleaned the apartment.

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