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Family of Dallas Ebola Patient Ordered to Stay Inside Their Home

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KUT News
Local law enforcement in Dallas is monitoring family members of the Dallas Ebola patient, to ensure they comply with an order to remain inside their home until at least Oct. 19, 2014.

Four relatives of the Dallas Ebola patient are being monitored to ensure they stay inside their home and not risk spreading the disease. So far, however, they don’t have symptoms of Ebola, but their temperature will be taken twice a day.

This type of quarantine is possible because of a Texas law that allows health officials to issue a control order. It requires someone to stay home, "to ensure that we can monitor them as needed," said David Lakey, commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services.

"That monitoring is extremely important, and so in order to ensure that monitoring take place, I signed that control order," Lakey added.

They can’t leave their home and they can’t have visitors until at least October 19th. Local law enforcement is doing the monitoring, and Lakey says food is being delivered to them and the apartment’s being cleaned.

Violating the order is a class B misdemeanor.

"There’s a potential that someone could be arrested," says Chris Van Deusen, a spokesperson for the Department of State Health Services. "That being said, it’s not in anybody’s interest for someone being monitored in this situation to be put in jail or incarcerated."

They'd more likely be admitted into a hospital, he added.

Health officials say as many as 100 people may have had contact with the man who has Ebola, though they expect the number who are at risk of infection to be much smaller.

 

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