The Slatest

Four Relatives of Dallas Ebola Patient Legally Ordered to Stay Home as Precaution

A press conference at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, where the patient is being treated.

Photo by Mike Stone/Getty Images

Four family members of the man diagnosed with Ebola in Dallas have been legally ordered to stay at home as a precaution lest they begin developing symptoms of the disease. From the Washington Post:

The order was hand-delivered to the family at the Ivy Apartments, in northeast Dallas, on Wednesday night and legally requires the four relatives of Duncan to stay home until at least Oct. 19.

“The order is in place until the incubation period has passed and the family is no longer at risk of having the disease,” a news release from Dallas health officials said. The family must also provide blood samples, agree to any other testing and report any symptoms to the Dallas County Health and Human Services Department immediately, including any fever above 100.5 degrees, headache, nausea, diarrhea or abdominal pain.

Ebola patients are not contagious unless they show symptoms of infection. None of the “12 to 18” people who had contact with the Dallas patient—whose name is Thomas Eric Duncan—and are being monitored for symptoms have yet developed any.

Duncan is in his mid-40s and is a resident of Monrovia, Liberia’s capital, where the Ebola outbreak has been devastating. He’s thought to have become infected while helping transport a neighbor who suffered from the disease to a hospital. She was turned away for lack of space and died soon after.

Read more of Slate’s coverage of Ebola.