Family of Dallas County Ebola patient issued public health control order

Texas and Dallas County health officials issued close family members of the Dallas Ebola patient a strict public health control order on Wednesday to prevent the spread of the disease.

“This order gives us the ability to monitor the situation in the most meticulous way,” Texas Health Commissioner David Lakey said.

The order was issued to four family members of the patient and requires them to stay in their home without visitors until at least Oct. 19, when the incubation period for spreading the disease has passed. The order also requires the family to be available to give blood samples and undergo any testing required by public health officials.

In Texas, under Health and Safety Code §81.083, the state health department and local health authority can put control measures in place if a person has been exposed to or is the carrier of a communicable disease. These measures include isolation, quarantine and preventative therapy. If a person does not comply with the measures they may be subject to criminal charges.

None of the family members are currently exhibiting any symptoms of Ebola, which include a fever of over 100.5 degrees, headache, nausea, diarrhea or abdominal pain. Ebola is not contagious until symptoms appear.

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Texas Department of Health Services

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