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Ebola Patient Thomas Eric Duncan's Family Frets About Hugs, Kisses

Children showered Thomas Edward Duncan with hugs and kisses the weekend he fell ill with the virus, a relative says.
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The stepdaughter of Texas Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan says she's worried about the kisses and hugs her children gave him over the weekend — even though he wasn't secreting any bodily fluids and had the strength to walk to the ambulance under his own steam. Youngor Jallah spoke with NBC News by phone from the Dallas apartment where she, her husband and four young children are voluntarily quarantined — taking their temperature twice daily and looking for possible symptoms of the deadly virus.

"I'm a little scared," said her 11-year-old son, Joe-Joe.

No one in the home has shown any symptoms said Jallah, whose mother is Duncan's longtime girlfriend and is under quarantine in a different apartment where Duncan was staying. But they all had plenty of contact with the Liberian national who was diagnosed with the virus after being admitted to the hospital on Sunday. ""I'm worried because my kids would hug him," she said, adding that she had no fear for her own health because "I had no contact with any fluids."

A neighbor reported that Duncan was "throwing up all over the place" as he was bundled into an ambulance, but Jallah said he was not bleeding or having secretions on Sunday and walked to the ambulance. Jallah said she is the one who called for the ambulance and told the paramedics he was from a "virus zone" and should be checked for Ebola and cautioned them to put on masks. She expressed anger that the hospital had failed to test Duncan for Ebola when he went to the emergency room two days earlier.

Jallah's mother, Louis Troh, was ordered by state official to stay in her apartment — along with three other people, including her brother and a cousin — according to another daughter, Mawhen Jallah. The American Red Cross delivered food to that apartment on Thursday afternoon, and someone came out to retrieve it.

Mawhen Jallah told NBC News that she has only been able to speak to Troh by phone. "We are talking right now but everybody is staying to their own place. Right not all we can do is call each other and check to make sure everyone is okay," she said. "We’re just hoping for the best and praying to God.”


— Kate Snow and Shamar Walters