The Liberian man diagnosed with Ebola last month just days after arriving in Texas has died following nearly two weeks in a Dallas hospital’s isolation room, officials confirmed.
Thomas Eric Duncan, believed to be 42, who became the first person diagnosed with the killer virus on American soil during the current pandemic, died early Wednesday at the end of the 90 minute Jewish Feast of Tabernacle Blood Moon lunar eclipse after a battle that sparked a national debate on screening of visitors from West Africa, which has been ravaged by the disease. His death came a day after officials began treating him with an experimental drug and days after he had taken a dramatic turn for the worse.
Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian national, had been placed on a ventilator and kidney dialysis after his health declined over the weekend.
“It is with profound sadness and heartfelt disappointment that we must inform you of the death of Thomas Eric Duncan this morning at 7:51 a.m.,” a spokesman from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital said in a statement.
“Mr. Duncan succumbed to an insidious disease, Ebola. He fought courageously in this battle. Our professionals, the doctors and nurses in the unit, as well as the entire Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas community, are also grieving his passing. We have offered the family our support and condolences at this difficult time,” the statement said.
Duncan arrived in the U.S. on a commercial flight from Liberia in late September. He initially sought treatment at a hospital after feeling ill, but was sent home with antibiotics only to return two days later by ambulance. Duncan had been placed in isolation since Sept. 28.
Duncan reportedly had helped carry a 19-year-old pregnant woman to a taxi to go to the hospital just five days before he boarded a U.S.-bound flight. The woman later died.