Man Who Brought Ebola to U.S. Could Face Prison Time


The scariest news of the week? Without a doubt it has to be that there is a confirmed case of Ebola in the United States. The idea that someone may have spread the disease to unknowing people -- children included -- is just frightening. Now patient zero, Thomas Eric Duncan, may be prosecuted for putting those lives in danger.


According to The Daily Mail, the Liberian government alleges that he lied on an airport questionnaire about this health so he could board the flight to the United States. As such, they plan to punish him for that.

At issue seems to be one incident in particular. One of the questions asked if he had cared for an Ebola patient or touched the body of someone infected. He answered, "No." And now there is a report that Duncan carried a pregnant woman suffering from Ebola to the hospital who died hours later from the horrendous virus.

"We expect people to do the honorable thing," says Binyah Kesselly, chairman of the board of directors of the Liberia Airport Authority. When they don't, it clearly becomes a life or death situation for an untold number of people. At present, Duncan has been quarantined at Texas Presbyterian hospital. His girlfriend, her son, and two nephews are also under quarantine. The hundreds of people he came into contact with before developing symptoms are being questioned. Not surprisingly, people are furious at the thought that he left the country knowing he had been exposed.

Over 4,000 people have died from Ebola in West Africa in the last year alone, and agencies across the globe are desperately seeking a cure. While the idea that this man, who is so gravely ill, could possibly go to prison for lying on his form seems harsh, it could be a deterrent to others considering being dishonest in order to travel.

Do you think people should be penalized if they travel after knowingly coming into contact with someone infected with Ebola?

Image © Pete Oxford/Minden Pictures/Corbis

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