Texas Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan succumbs to virus
Thomas Eric Duncan, the lone man diagnosed with Ebola who traveled to the U.S. from Liberia, died Wednesday morning at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas.
He had been in critical condition after being diagnosed with Ebola in mid-September.
People who have had contact with him are being monitored for symptoms.
It has just been a little over a week since Duncan began receiving treatment for the virus, and those days have spelled an “enormous test of our health system,” said Dr. David Lakey, the commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services.
“For one family it has been far more personal,” he said in a statement. “Today they lost a dear member of their family. They have our sincere condolences, and we are keeping them in our thoughts.”
He vowed that health care workers will continue to try to stop the spread of the virus “and protect people from this threat.”
News of Duncan’s death comes as federal officials announced that airports in the country will start to take temperatures of arriving passengers who have flights originating from West African countries where Ebola is concentrated.
The screenings, set to begin this weekend, will target countries listed as “Ebola zone areas” such as Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria.
The virus can spread through contact with bodily fluids of an infected person — blood, sweat, feces, vomit, semen and saliva and only by someone who is showing symptoms, according to the CDC.
The first known case of a person becoming infected with the virus was in Spain last week. In addition to the nurse’s assistant who is being treated in the country, four more potential Ebola cases have been revealed. It could take up to three weeks for symptoms of Ebola to show in infected individuals.
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