U.S. Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan dies

Thomas Eric Duncan, the first Ebola patient diagnosed in the U.S. died in a Dallas hospital on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: Wilmot Chayee

The first-ever U.S.-diagnosed Ebola patient, a Liberian man, who was hospitalised here for ten days, died on Wednesday morning, according to an announcement by the hospital in Dallas, Texas, where he was being treated.

On Saturday, hospital officials changed the health condition of Thomas Eric Duncan, who remained in an isolation ward since his admission, from serious to critical.

Despite being put on a ventilator and kidney dialysis and receiving the experimental antiviral drug brincidofovir, Duncan, who is believed to have been exposed to the disease before leaving his country on September 19, died at 7:51 am local time.

His case appeared to prompt some controversy in terms of why the hospital delayed in admitting him when he first came to its emergency department on September 26, despite his recent travel history in West Africa and symptoms of fever and abdominal pain that he was experiencing, typical of Ebola.

Since then concerns have mounted that the hospital’s action in sending him home may have exposed more people in the community to the virus, although Duncan’s fiancée and three of her family members were reportedly held in quarantine for more than a week given that they lived in the same apartment with him.

Nearly four dozen other local residents were said to be under monitoring for at least 21 days, the normal incubation period of the virus, because they apparently had direct or indirect contact with Duncan, yet they were not showing any signs of the disease, according to public health officials.

State Health Commissioner David Lakey issued a statement following Duncan’s death saying that the past week had been an “enormous test of our health system,” adding, “We’ll continue every effort to contain the spread of the virus and protect people from this threat.”

Since Duncan’s case came to light there have been nearly 5,000 false alarms among the calls received by the Centre for Disease Control, the federal agency leading the containment effort for Ebola, whose outbreak has led to nearly 3,400 deaths reported in West Africa.

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Printable version | Oct 10, 2021 11:55:27 AM |

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