Thomas Eric Duncan, the man who was the first patient diagnosed with Ebola on US soil, has died.
The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention held a Press Conference on the 30th of September 2014 where they confirmed the man, who had come Liberia, had tested positive for Ebola. Dr. Thomas Frieden, Director of the CDC cited the patient’s travel history: Duncan left Liberia on the 19th of September 2014 and arrived in the USA on the 20th. He had no symptoms on the plane and only started showing symptoms around the 24th of September. Duncan sought care on the 26th and was placed in isolation at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital on the 28th.
Questions arose about why the patient had been sent home. These were answered in a Press Conference by Texas Officials the next day. Dr. Mark Lester responded that the information between the nurse and other medical practitioners had not been properly communicated. Because of this the team had not factored in all information and suspected the patient of having a “low-grade” infection. This was later suggested to be incorrect according to various media reports, and it was later confirmed that full history was known by more people than had previously been suggested. Many also wondered why the patient was able to leave Liberia. It emerged that Duncan had omitted information upon leaving the country. The Government of Liberia said he would be prosecuted.
Duncan was allegedly receiving the the experimental drug Brincidofovir and was placed on a ventilator when his condition deteriorated. He was also receiving dialysis. This week the first case of transmission to occur outside of West Africa was confirmed by the European Union member state Spain.
The United States is still monitoring the roughly 100 contacts related to Duncan.