4 relatives of Ebola patient ordered to stay home

Dallas County Health and Human Services Director Zachary Thompson stands outside of an apartment unit at The Ivy Apartment Complex after paying a visit, 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 Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

WASHINGTON (AP) – Texas health officials have ordered four close family members of the Ebola patient in Dallas to stay in their home, and they’ve posted law enforcement outside to be sure.

Federal and Texas health officials are reaching out to about 100 people to determine if they have had contact with the Ebola patient hospitalized in Dallas.

But Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Tom Frieden said Thursday they’ve only identified a handful of individuals so far who may really have been exposed and therefore will be monitored.

Texas state health commissioner David Lakey said the unusual quarantine step with the four relatives was so health officials could do the necessary monitoring, including checking them for fevers over the next 21 days.

“We didn’t have the confidence we would have been able to monitor them the way that we needed to,” Lakey said.

Texas officials are delivering groceries to the home and are preparing to have it professionally cleaned.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said the Ebola patient’s belongings and clothes and household trash, possibly including his sheets, are bagged inside the house so the family members cannot come into contact with them until they are removed.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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