MONROVIA, Liberia (AP) — The Liberian man infected with Ebola who brought the disease to the United States will be prosecuted when he returns home for lying on his airport screening questionnaire, Liberian authorities said Thursday.
With an Ebola epidemic raging in West Africa, passengers leaving Liberia are being screened for fever and are asked if they have had contact with anyone infected.
On the form obtained by The Associated Press and confirmed by a government official, Thomas Eric Duncan answered "no" to questions about whether he had cared for an Ebola patient or touched the body of someone who had died in an area affected by Ebola.
Nowa Paye, 9, is taken to an ambulance after showing signs of the Ebola infection in the village of Freeman Reserve, about 30 miles north of Monrovia, Liberia, Tuesday Sept. 30, 2014. Three members of District 13 ambulance service traveled to the village to pickup six suspected Ebola sufferers that had been quarantined by villagers. (AP /Jerome Delay)
Neighbors say Duncan had days earlier helped carry to a taxi a pregnant woman who later died of Ebola. Her illness at the time was believed to be pregnancy-related.
At the time Duncan left, it's not clear if he knew of the woman's diagnosis. Officials have said Duncan was showing no symptoms when he boarded the plane and he was therefore not contagious. Ebola can only be spread through the bodily fluids of people showing signs of the disease.
Christopher Perkins, D.O., M.P.H. Medical Director, Health Authority with Dallas County Health and Human Services walks out of an apartment unit at The Ivy Apartment Complex, Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014, in Dallas. Dallas County officials have ordered family members who had contact with the patient diagnosed with the Ebola virus to stay inside their home. (AP/Tony Gutierrez)
"He will be prosecuted" when he returns to Liberia, Binyah Kesselly, chairman of the board of directors of the Liberia Airport Authority, told reporters.
He said that people like Duncan and Patrick Sawyer, a Liberian-American with Ebola who traveled to Nigeria and infected people there, have brought a "stigma" upon Liberians living abroad.