US Ebola patient Thomas Duncan dies


The first person to be diagnosed with the deadly Ebola on US soil has died, Texas hospital officials said on Wednesday.

Thomas Duncan, who caught the virus in his native Liberia, was being kept in isolation in a Dallas hospital following his diagnosis last month.

Duncan’s condition was changed on Saturday from serious to critical.

On Tuesday, the hospital said Duncan who was fighting for his life had been placed on a ventilator and a kidney dialysis machine to help stabilize his health. The Liberian national was also been given the experimental medication brincidofovir before his death on Wednesday Morning.

Others in Dallas still are being monitored as health officials try to contain the virus that has ravaged West Africa, with more than 3,400 people reported dead. They also trying to tamp down anxiety among residents frightened of contracting Ebola, though the disease can be spread only through direct contact with the bodily fluids of an already sick person.

Health officials have identified 10 people, including seven health workers, who had direct contact with Duncan while he was contagious. Another 38 people also may have come into contact with him.

The four people living in the northeast Dallas apartment where Duncan stayed have been isolated in a private residence.

Everyone who potentially had contact with Duncan will be monitored for 21 days, the normal incubation period for the disease.

Duncan passed an airport health screening in Liberia, where doctors took his temperature and found no other signs of Ebola symptoms. But a few days after he arrived, he began to have a fever, headache and abdominal pain.

He went to the emergency room of Texas Health Presbyterian in Dallas on Sept. 24, but was sent home. By Sept. 27, his condition had worsened. An ambulance that day took him back to the hospital, where he stayed in isolation.

The hospital has changed its explanation several times about when Duncan arrived and what he said about his travel history. It has acknowledged that Duncan told them on his first visit that he came from West Africa.

Meanwhile, the US has announced new security procedures at entry points to check travellers for symptoms of the virus.

More than 3,000 people have died in West Africa in the worst Ebola outbreak yet.

While Duncan was the first person to be diagnosed within the US, three American aid workers and a photojournalist contracted the virus in Liberia.

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