The Liberian man infected with Ebola who took the disease to the United States will be prosecuted when he returns home for lying on his airport screening questionnaire, Liberian authorities said today.
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.
Neighbours say Mr 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 Mr Duncan left, it is not clear whether he knew of the woman’s diagnosis. Officials have said Mr 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.
“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 people like Mr Duncan and Patrick Sawyer, a Liberian-American with Ebola who travelled to Nigeria and infected people there, have brought a “stigma” upon Liberians living abroad.