Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan dies at Dallas hospital
DALLAS — The first person to be diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S. has died, a Dallas hospital announced minutes ago.
Liberian Thomas Eric Duncan, who recently traveled from West Africa to Dallas, had been in isolation at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas since Sept. 28.
It wasn’t immediately known what would happen to his body, which could remain contagious for several days. Guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention call for the remains to be immediately shrouded in plastic and double-bagged in leak-proof bags at the hospital, then promptly cremated or buried in an airtight casket.
Duncan’s death comes four days after his condition was downgraded from serious to critical. Over the weekend, he had begun receiving brincidofovir, an experimental antiviral drug which recently gained emergency approval from the FDA.
Duncan, 42, is also the first person known to die of Ebola in the United States. The highly contagious virus has killed more than 3,400 people in West Africa in 2014, the World Health Organization estimates.
Five Americans who were diagnosed with Ebola in Africa have returned to the U.S. for treatment since late July.