Updated 02:10 AM EST, Sat, Dec 04, 2021

Ebola Virus Outbreak 2014 News Update: U.S. Patient's Family Quarantined

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Four close family members of the Ebola patient in Dallas have been legally quarantined by Texas health officials in their apartment and are being monitored for virus symptoms. They have been ordered to stay put until Oct, 19, the end of the 21-day incubation period of the virus.

The hand-delivered "control order" requires the family of Thomas Eric Duncan, the first Ebola patient in the United States, to provide blood samples and be subjected to testing required by health officials. Violation of the order could lead to criminal charges, noted USA Today.

"The decision to put a control order in place for these individuals was to ensure that we can monitor them as needed," quoted the Huffington Post of David Lakey, M.D., commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services, during a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) press conference. 

He added: "I couldn't be confident that that monitoring was going to take place in the way that I needed it to take place, and that's why I signed the control order."

Officials were concerned that without a quarantine, they would be unable to carry out the testing required, including two rounds of temperature checks, to monitor the possibly infected persons. 

Arrangements have been made to have food brought to the individuals as well as to provide cleaning services for the home.

While the four individuals aren't allowed to leave the apartment, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, director of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, remarked that Duncan's partner and family should be moved out of the apartment where the patient first came down with Ebola, said CNN

Officials are working on relocating the soiled items Duncan left behind in the residence, including sweat-stained sheets, due to hygienic and "distressing living conditions."

"I would like to see those people moved to better living conditions," said Jenkins CNN's Jake Tapper Thursday. "We are working on that. I would like to move them five minutes ago."

According to Time, aside from the family members, health officials have also widened their search to about 100 others, whoa are also being assessed for possible contact with Duncan.

The publication does note that of the 100 they are assessing, only a "handful" are thought have potential exposure, explained Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the CDC. To date, there are no plans of putting other individuals under quarantine.

A spokesperson for the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital revealed that Duncan remains in "serious condition." Presently, he is isolated and being looked after in a private ward by the facility's top doctors. 

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