Friday, October 3, 2014

Liberia to Prosecute Man First Diagnosed With Ebola in the US

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Liberia has announced plans to prosecute Thomas Eric Duncan, the first case of Ebola to be diagnosed in the US, claiming he lied about not having any contact with an infected person before boarding a plane to America.

Binyah Kesselly, chairman of the board of directors of the Liberia Airport Authority, told reporters that Eric Duncan will be prosecuted when he returns to Liberia. He said people like Mr Duncan and Patrick Sawyer, a Liberian-American with Ebola who travelled to Nigeria and infected people there, have brought a "stigma" upon Liberians living abroad.

The Independent reports that;

Mr Duncan was asked to fill in a questionnaire about his health and activities prior to boarding a flight to Dallas in an airport screening.

Among the questions asked on the form, which has been obtained by The Associated Press, one asked whether Mr Duncan had cared for an Ebola patient or touched the body of anyone who had died in an area affected by Ebola. He answered no to all the questions.

Neighbours say Mr Duncan had days earlier helped carry to a taxi a pregnant woman who later died of Ebola. Her illness at the time was believed to be pregnancy-related.

At the time Mr Duncan left, it is not clear if he knew of the woman's diagnosis. Officials have said he was showing no symptoms when he boarded the plane and was therefore not contagious. Ebola can only be spread through the bodily fluids of people showing signs of the disease.

Thomas Eric Duncan was admitted at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas on Sunday, and said to be in a serious but stable condition now. US health officials say the Liberian national, was visiting friends and family in Texas, and may have had direct or indirect contact with up to 100 people before going into hospital. Those people are either in quarantine or being monitored by authorities.

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