The man who brought Ebola to the United States from West Africa died this morning in a Dallas hospital after fighting the deadly disease ten days after he was rushed to the hospital.
Thomas Eric Duncan, whose health took a grave turn for the worse this weekend, succumbed to the virus at 7:51 a.m. on Wednesday morning at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital.
We’re certain his death will be met with sadness as well as anger, after Duncan exposed nearly 50 people to the disease the United States.
Those exposed included his fiancee Louise Troh and two of her children. They remain quarantined and under constant monitoring by health officials over fears that they, too, could develop symptoms after a 21-day incubation period.
Doctors began administering an experimental antiviral drug on Monday, but he showed few signs of improvement.
His family said Tuesday that he was medically sedated and unresponsive when they tried to visit him at the hospital.
The hospital issued a statement late this morning that read, “It is with profound sadness and heartfelt disappointment that we must inform you of the death of Thomas Eric Duncan this morning at 7.51am. Mr. Duncan succumbed to an insidious disease, Ebola.
“He fought courageously in this battle. Our professionals, the doctors and nurses in the unit, as well as the entire Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas community, are also grieving his passing. We have offered the family our support and condolences at this difficult time.”
Guidance that the Centers for Disease Control issued to hospitals on the disposal of dead Ebola patients calls for Duncan’s body to be immediately wrapped in a plastic shroud and zipped up in two leak-proof body bags – with his medical lines and tubes still attached.
His remains will then be shipped to the Dallas County morgue.
Thomas Eric Duncan apologized to his fiancee after doctors told him he had the deadly disease and told her he would have rather died in Liberia than put her at risk, a family friend has said.
A family friend named Saymendy Lloyd said, “He apologized to Louise the day they told him what he had. He told her, “I’m so sorry all of this is happening. I would not put the love of my life in danger”.
Liberia authorities have accused Duncan of lying on an airport screening form before flying out of Monrovia last month and claiming he had no contact with Ebola victims. The Dallas County prosecutor also announced this week Duncan could face criminal charges if he knew he had Ebola and exposed people to the disease anyway.
Ten people, including seven healthcare workers and three family members, are considered at high risk for Ebola after they were exposed to Duncan after he became contagious. Another 38 more are being monitors by the CDC for possible risk of the disease.
Ebola spreads by having contact with the bodily fluids of an infected patient. Even getting sweat or blood on the skin can cause an infection.