The PJ Tatler

BREAKING: Ebola Patient Thomas Eric Duncan Dies

Thomas Eric Duncan, 42, died at 7:51 this morning according to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, Texas.

Duncan was exposed to Ebola on September 15 in his native Liberia, when he transported a pregnant woman stricken with the virus to several local hospitals to help her get treatment. She was turned away because the hospitals were already full. She died of Ebola early the following morning.

On September 19, Duncan flew to Brussels, Belgium en route to Washington, DC’s Dulles International Airport, en route to his eventual destination, Dallas, Texas where members of his family live.

Duncan showed no Ebola symptoms during his travels, and apparently lied to Liberian officials and claimed that he had not been exposed to the virus.

A few days after arriving in Dallas, Duncan showed symptoms of Ebola and went to Texas Presbyterian to receive treatment. He was sent home and given a prescription for antibiotics — which are not effective against viral infections.

Two days later his symptoms had worsened. His family called an ambulance, which transported him back to the hospital. He was admitted and tested for Ebola, and tests confirmed that he had the deadly virus.

Duncan exposed as many as 100 people to the virus, including his family, children, the ambulance crew, a homeless man, and staff at the hospital that treated him. Dozens of those potentially exposed are being monitored, but so far none of them have come down with any Ebola symptoms.

Update: Duncan had been put on dialysis after his kidneys failed, and he was also being administered an experimental drug. But his family, some of whom he also exposed to the Ebola virus, now charge that he was not being adequately cared for.

A nephew, Josephus Weeks, said earlier today that Duncan did not receive any serum from Ebola survivors, a treatment given other survivors. Kent Brantly, a U.S. doctor who recovered after being infected, has donated serum to at least two other patients.

Asked in a text-message interview if the family thinks blood serum derived from disease survivors should have been used, Weeks said, “We begged and pleaded several times. They said it’s too late in his treatment. They didn’t try any other options but saline, oxygen and water.”

A hospital spokeswoman, Candace White, did not immediately respond to multiple requests for comment.