Wednesday, October 08, 2014
First Ebola Victim On American Soil Dies
The 42-year old Liberian national who traveled on a visitor visa to the United States last month to visit family and friends in Dallas, Texas after being exposed to the deadly Ebola virus succumbed to the disease that has already claimed thousands of lives from the pandemic raging in West Africa. Thomas Eric Duncan was died this morning at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas almost two weeks after he was placed in isolation for treatment.
Health officials in Dallas continue to monitor dozens of other persons who came in direct contact with Duncan prior to his hospitalization on September 26 only days after he arrived in the U.S. A person infected with the Ebola virus can remain asymptomatic for up to 21 days before falling ill. Duncan is one of nearly a half dozen other persons infected with Ebola who have been treated in the U.S. Health care workers helping fight the disease in West Africa have been brought to the U.S. after contracting the disease and successfully treated with an experimental drug, Zmapp, which was not made available to Duncan. Some are beginning to question why U.S. health officials have only made Zmapp available to select health care workers and under what circumstances the FDA has approved its use, while thousands have perished from the disease in Africa.
There are late-breaking reports about a sheriff's deputy in Dallas who came in contact with Duncan exhibiting signs of the disease, who has now been transferred to the same hospital where Duncan was treated, for further evaluation.