Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the United States, died this morning at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. He was 42.
A statement from Texas Health Resources reads:
“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 am. 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.”
Officials believe that Duncan contracted Ebola during a visit to Liberia in September. Duncan arrived in the United States on September 20 but did not show symptoms for several days. The Texas Hospital has been criticized for turning Duncan away after an emergency room visit on September 25. It wasn’t until a few days later that he was officially diagnosed with Ebola.
Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said: “What we’ve learned about Ebola is how important it is to get the patient’s basic care right.”
Officials have identified at least 10 people who came into contact with Duncan before Thomas Duncan was officially diagnosed with Ebola.