Ebola Outbreak
Ebola Outbreak

On Friday, officials said 10 people with the highest risk of exposure from Duncan had been placed under isolation in Dallas and all were cooperating with public health authorities by staying in quarantine voluntarily.

“There’s no one under orders. There’s no one that we perceive that needs to be under orders,” Judge Clay Jenkins, Dallas County’s top elected official, told a news conference late on Friday.

Separately, five public school children who had possibly been exposed to the Ebola patient had been kept home from class in recent days while being monitored as a precaution, though none had shown any symptoms, said Mike Miles, superintendent of the Dallas Independent School District.

Authorities have said the individuals placed in isolation included the four members of a single family whose apartment Duncan was staying in when he fell ill after traveling to Dallas from Liberia on Sept. 19. The six others are healthcare workers, including those who transported Duncan by ambulance on his second trip to the hospital on Sept. 28.

Duncan became ill on the night of Sept. 25 and visited the emergency room at Presbyterian Hospital, but was sent home without being screened for Ebola, despite telling a nurse there that he had just been to Liberia.

The hospital issued a statement on Friday saying that Duncan’s travel history was “documented and available to the full care team,” including doctors, through electronic records, contrary to the hospital’s earlier assertions that all staff were not made aware of his recent presence in West Africa.

The hospital offered no explanation of why its medical staff apparently failed to act on the information it had.

Just days before flying to Texas via Brussels and Washington, Duncan had helped a pregnant woman who later died of Ebola in Liberia, a fact that he concealed from airport authorities in Liberia before boarding the plane.

Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins told a Dallas NBC News affiliate his office was considering whether to pursue a possible criminal case against Duncan, though he did not specify on what basis Duncan might be charged.

The woman he was staying with, publicly referred to by city officials by her first name only but identified in the media as Louise Troh, was later ordered to stay inside her apartment with her 13-year-old son and two adult nephews who lived there with her.

On Friday, the family agreed to move voluntarily to an isolated four-bedroom house in a gated community in an undisclosed location somewhere within city limits, Jenkins said.

(Additional reporting by Sharon Begley and Michele Gershberg in New York; Writing bySteve Gorman; Editing by Kevin Liffey and Tom Brown)