BY: SAYO AKINTOLA
Texas officials announced they have placed the family of the man diagnosed in Dallas with Ebola under quarantine just as the Liberian government said he will face criminal charges.
Officials hand-delivered the order to Thomas Duncan’s relatives Wednesday night after they reportedly violated an official request not to leave home. The Liberian citizen reportedly lied on his health form to gain entry to the U.S.
Duncan’s family is now under a strict quarantine until October 19. They are legally prohibited from leaving their Dallas home for any reason.
“We have tried and true protocols to protect the public and stop the spread of this disease,” Dr. David Lakey, Texas health commissioner, said in a statement posted to Facebook. “This order gives us the ability to monitor the situation in the most meticulous way.”
Duncan lying on his health form has prompted Liberian officials to announce they will file criminal charges against him for carrying the deadly virus through Europe and two U.S. cities.
The exposed family members have not yet shown symptoms, but officials announced Wednesday plans to keep them under observation for 21 days. Included in the quarantine are five school children.
The order covers Ebola’s incubation period. Individuals infected with the deadly virus often do not show symptoms for several days.
Those relatives are also required by law to provide blood samples for testing as requested by health officials and also to immediately report symptoms.
Officials also announced Thursday morning they believe as many as 100 people were exposed to Ebola by Duncan since his arrival in the U.S.
Infected people are not contagious until symptoms are visible. Those symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever and headache.
Individuals under quarantine face criminal charges and even jail time if the order is violated.
Duncan remains in critical condition at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas.
He is the first known-diagnosed case of Ebola in the U.S. and anywhere outside of Africa.
The widow of late Patrick Sawyer, the Liberian-American who brought Ebola into Nigeria, had made heartfelt revelations on why her husband deliberately came into the country with the deadly disease.
The wife of the late Patrick, Decontee Sawyer, who is a Radio Host in New York had cleared the rumours about how her husband was defiant to the law that restricted any Ebola infected person from travelling outside the country
Decontee made it known that it was the yearning of her late husband to receive adequate health care which he could not get in Liberia that made him opt to travel down to Africa’s most populous country, Nigeria.
Mrs Sawyer also took to her Facebook account to explain more about it. In her words: “I’ve read other reports in other papers about Patrick’s “recklessness.” I get where they’re coming from, and they certainly have the right to feel the way they do. However, as Patrick’s widow, I would like to shed some light on this from another perspective. One that only I, his wife, would know,” she wrote.
“I knew Patrick better than anybody else (including himself). He had told me many times in the past how much he didn’t trust the Liberian healthcare system. He would tell me about how a person would get checked in for one thing, and get misdiagnosed and get the wrong treatment as a result. On top of that, Patrick was a clean freak, and told me how filthy a lot of the hospitals were.
“He didn’t tell me this, but I know in my heart of hearts that Patrick was determined to get to Nigeria by all means because he felt that Nigeria would be a place of refuge. He has expressed to me many times in the past that he felt passionately about helping to be a part of strengthening Liberia’s healthcare system, but he knew it wasn’t there yet, and he wouldn’t want to take a chance with his life because a lot of people depended on him… Patrick had a passion for life, and he wouldn’t have wanted his to end. So, I bet anything that he was thinking, if I could only get to Nigeria, a way more developed country than Liberia, I would be able to get some help. How ironic.”