What the Ebola Victim's Family Endured in Quarantine and Why They Fear for Their Children
Along with 44 other contacts, the family of Thomas Eric Duncan, Ebola’s patient zero in the U.S., have been given the all clear after completing the 21-day observation and quarantine period.
But while Duncan’s family, who shared a small Dallas apartment with him, may be breathing a sigh of relief, they’re anxious over the the treatment they’ve received from members of the Dallas community, and worried about what happens to them now, according to The Guardian.
Duncan’s family reported particularly poor treatment from the management of the apartment complex they live in. The family says the landlord avoided repairing a broken refrigerator in the apartment. The family also says that a representative from the local cable television provider left service equipment on the street instead of installing it in the apartment after being warned by neighbors that the family of Duncan lived there.
There are also reports of rocks being thrown at homes of people who have been mistaken as members of Duncan’s family.
Louise Troh, the fiancÃ©e of Thomas Eric Duncan has told the media that she’s worried about her children who will be returning to school on Monday.
The incubation period of Ebola is less than 21 days, according to the World Health Organization. Those that are in contact with an Ebola patient who don't become ill are considered to be clear of the disease. People with Ebola aren't contagious at all until they start to display flu-like symptoms, including an elevated body temperature. Before symptoms appear, health officials say that levels of the Ebola virus in blood samples are too low to be measured.
The all clear for Duncan's contacts before he was admitted to the hospital should hopefully reassure the public that the virus is not easily spread through casual contact in the earliest stages of the disease. This is something that public health officials have been emphasizing for weeks.
Duncan's family was quarantined immediately after his diagnosis, and they have not left the apartment since they were given that order. Health officials were concerned that the family were at risk of contracting Ebola. Not only had they stayed in the small apartment with Duncan while he was sick, they continued to stay in there with his soiled bed linens after Duncan was diagnosed and admitted to the hospital on Sept. 28.
Duncan died on Oct. 8.