Thomas Eric Duncan, the man with the first case of Ebola diagnosed in the United States, has died, he was 42-years-old.
Duncan was pronounced dead at 7:51 a.m. at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital. Duncan was admitted to the hospital more than one week ago. The Ebola virus was detected in his body on September 28, and his condition continued to worsen over the last last. Medical personnel attempted to support his increased need for fluids and electrolytes as the disease caused an increasing amount of bleeding, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Doctors treated the country’s first Ebola diagnosed patient with an experimental antiviral drug, brincidofovir, after the Food and Drug Administration approved its use on an emergency basis.
Duncan was originally sent home after a visit to Texas Health Presbyterian, but was rushed back to the hospital two days later. It was revealed that his travel itinerary to Liberia was not revealed because a glitch in the hospitals reporting system. That event led to new questions about health officials’ preparedness to detect and contain the Ebola virus.
Mr. Duncan returned from Liberia on September 20, landing in Dallas, Texas. He was admitted to the hospital on September 28.
His arrival in the United States was supposed to be a joyous occasion. After spending nearly two decades away from the women he loved, and their child, he began to rekindle their relationship. However, because of his condition Duncan and Louise Troh, 54, spent more days apart than they did together. Following his hospitalization he was isolated from his family, and Troh was also forced to undergo isolation for an observation period. The Ebola virus features a two to 21 day incubation period. Troh’s 13-year-old son and two others were also isolated at a remote home by order of health officials.
Thomas Eric Duncan was a driver for a cargo company in the Liberian capital of Monrovia. It was during his time in that country that he contracted the disease after a simple act of kindness. Duncan was renting a room from the parents of Marthalene Williams, 19. Mr. Duncan helped the family take Ms. Williams to and from a hospital on Sept. 15. A short time later she died from the Ebola virus. Several other people who had direct contact with the young woman also died from the disease. Ebola, which is contagious if a person is showing active symptoms, passed to Mr. Duncan as he carried the scared young lady while she was sick and convulsing.
Health officials in the meantime have said on numerous occasions that they are confident that the disease will not spread. Nearly 50 people were placed on an active watch list, and 10 individuals who had contact with Thomas Eric Duncan were listed in a higher risk category that required further and more intense observation.
Local, state and federal officials have said that all people being monitored have shown no symptoms of Ebola.
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