The Ebola patient in an isolation unit in a Texas hospital, Thomas Eric Duncan, has died, officials said today.
“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.,” the 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,” the statement said.
Duncan was admitted to the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas on Sept. 28. He initially went to the hospital’s emergency room with symptoms on Sept. 26. He returned in an ambulance two days later and had been in an isolation unit since then.
Thomas Eric Duncan who had traveled to Texas to visit family, was the first person to be diagnosed with the disease while in the U.S. and became the first person to die of the disease in the U.S.
Curated from abcnews.go.com
Preparing Ebola Victim’s Body
Texas officials have said that they are preparing Duncan’s body for cremation. Ebola is still contagious even if the person has already died. The only safe, sure way to dispose of an Ebola infected body is to burn it. The Ebola outbreak is spreading throughout West Africa in large part due to the way the bodies of deceased Ebola victims are handled.
In West Africa nations, the Ebola victims would spread the virus even after death. The people would prepare the bodies for burial. In preparation for burial, the bodies are washed. Then, they are ceremoniously buried. During this process, many opportunities present themselves for the spread of the Ebola virus to unsuspecting people. They finally figured out that this was causing more Ebola cases to emerge and now cremate all those that passed away from the Ebola Virus.
Benefit of Thomas E. Duncan’s Death
It might not be a politically correct thing to say but it is a good thing that Thomas E. Duncan died from the Ebola virus. Why? If Thomas Duncan survived, what message would that send to the rest of the world? This would give the green light for all who are stricken with the Ebola virus to take the next flight available to the United States for treatment. It isn’t certain if Duncan came to this country knowing he had been exposed to the Ebola virus but others would certainly lie on their screening forms just for the opportunity to get treated.
The family of Thomas Duncan is questioning the level of care he had received in the Texas hospital. They feel he might not have been treated fairly and the utilization of experimental drugs were delayed. What are they complaining about? This man put 318 million people at risk to a disease with a 70% mortality rate. They are lucky Mr. Duncan wasn’t sent back to Liberia straight away instead of receiving the best treatment possible.
The Thomas E Duncan situation did bring the global threat of Ebola to light. American politicians are now talking about stepping up screenings of incoming passengers from at-risk countries. While travel bans are also being discussed, this isn’t likely to happen. While Duncan’s time on Earth has come to an end, up to a 100 people in Texas wait to see if they will develop a potential death sentence.