10/03/2014 05:28 pm ET Updated Oct 03, 2014

Dallas District Attorney's Office Weighs Criminal Charges For Ebola Patient

The Dallas County District Attorney’s office is discussing whether the case of the Dallas Ebola patient needs to be looked into as a criminal matter, according to news reports.

Ebola "is an issue we have been discussing for the last couple of days in the office," Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins said in an interview on the local NBC affiliate on Friday. "It may be more of a federal issue, but we are actively having discussions as to whether we need to look into this as it relates to a criminal matter."

After the show was recorded, Watkins said he did not know the exact charge the patient, Thomas Eric Duncan, would receive from the DA’s office, NBC DFW reported.

Duncan already faces prosecution when he returns to his home country of Liberia , the Associated Press previously reported. Liberian authorities said Duncan, who was traveling to the U.S. for the first time to visit family in Dallas, lied on his airport screening questionnaire about being in contact with Ebola patients.

Duncan is currently in serious condition at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas.

For Watkins' full comments, watch the NBC video above.




Symptoms of Ebola