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Monday, June 17, 2024 | Back issues
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Texas Wants 2nd Possible Ebola|Patient Put in Protective Custody

DALLAS (CN) - Texas wants a second patient "reasonably suspected of being infected" with Ebola put into protective custody in Dallas.

Dr. David L. Lakey, commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services, filed a motion for a temporary order of protective custody Monday in Dallas County Court.

The unidentified patient, sued as "M.W.L.," is "reasonably suspected of being infected with a communicable disease (Ebola) that presents an immediate threat to public health," the 4-page motion states.

"Further, movant has determined that proposed patient is a threat to himself or others if not immediately restrained. Further, sources charged with monitoring the proposed patient M.W.L. have observed the proposed patient failing or refusing to follow the written order of the Texas Department of State Health Services by leaving the premises of a medical facility contrary to medical directives, without permission and surreptitiously."

Lakey claims that the proposed patient "meets the criteria authorized by the court" to issue such an order.

"The sworn representations of the applicant, who is a credible person, state that the proposed patient is reasonably suspected of being infected with the communicable disease, Ebola, that presents a threat to public health; has failed or refused to follow the written or verbal orders of the Commissioner; and presents a substantial risk of harm to himself or others if no immediately restrained," according to the motion, filed Monday at 2 p.m.

Lakey wants the patient kept under constant guard at Parkland Hospital, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas or any other appropriate facility.

Presbyterian is treating Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian, who is the first confirmed domestic case of Ebola .

The hospital has come under heavy criticism for releasing Duncan with only antibiotics on Sept. 26 and failing to flag his travel history for Ebola. He was hospitalized two days later when he developed symptoms consistent with the disease.

Duncan flew to Dallas from West Africa in September to visit his family.

Dallas County on Oct. 1 ordered Duncan's family into isolation at their Dallas apartment under armed guards.

The family has been relocated to another home and the apartment was decontaminated over the weekend.

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