1st Person Diagnosed With Ebola in America Has Died, Hospital Reports


Dallas Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan, 42, who was exposed to the disease before leaving his home in Liberia, has died, according to the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, which posted a note about his death on its Facebook page.


"It is with profound sadness and heartfelt disappointment that we must inform you of the death of Thomas Eric Duncan this morning at 7:51 a.m. Mr. Duncan succumbed to an insidious disease, Ebola," the hospital wrote in a Facebook post. "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."

According to the New York Times, Duncan was exposed to the disease after he helped his pregnant sick neighbor just four days before boarding a Sept. 20 flight that involved several layovers, including Brussels, Dulles International Airport in Virginia and, finally, Dallas.

CBS News reported earlier this week that the hospital had begun using brincidofovir, an experimental oral antiviral drug, but to no avail.

Commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services Dr. David Lakey said in a statement viewed by CBS News: "The doctors, nurses and staff at Presbyterian provided excellent and compassionate care, but Ebola is a disease that attacks the body in many ways. We'll continue every effort to contain the spread of the virus and protect people from this threat."

CBS News notes that health officials are still monitoring 10 people who had direct contact with Duncan while he was contagious. Seven of those being monitored are health workers.

According to the news site, Duncan passed an Ebola health screening before boarding the flight in Liberia. He became ill shortly after arriving in Dallas and reportedly went to the Texas Presbyterian Hospital emergency room on Sept. 24 complaining of "fever, headache and abdominal pain," CBS News notes. His condition worsened, and he returned Sept. 27 by ambulance to the same hospital, where he was kept in isolation until his death.

Although it is unclear why Duncan was sent home after his visit, CBS News notes that Texas Presbyterian has reported conflicting stories as to what Duncan told the hospital about his travels. The hospital did acknowledge that on his first visit he said he was visiting Dallas from West Africa.