Thursday, October 2, 2014

First Patient Diagnosed With Ebola in the US Named and Identified, How He Travelled To America

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Thomas Duncan, a Liberian citizen, has been identified and named as the first patient to be diagnosed with Ebola in the US. The 42-year-old had gone to the United States to visit family and friends before falling ill with the Ebola Virus Disease.

The New York Times reports that Duncan had direct contact with an Ebola infected pregnant woman in Liberia on September 15, four days before he left for the United States. The woman's parents and Duncan's neighbors in Monrovia, Liberia, said Duncan had helped carry the sick woman home after a hospital turned her away because there wasn't enough space in its Ebola treatment ward.

On Sept 19 as he was about to come to the US, Duncan was tested "like all other passengers" at the Liberian Airport, but showed no Ebola signs such as high fever, sweating, vomiting or weakness. Duncan boarded an SN Brussels Airlines flight, which went first to the Belgian capital, before flying to the United States, where he arrived September 20.

Duncan's Ebola symptoms manifested about five days after he arrived in the US, and on a visit to the hospital on Sept 26, he replied truthfully when asked by a nurse, that he'd traveled from Africa. However, he was sent home with just antibiotics.

Two days later, he had to be taken back to the same Dallas hospital in pretty bad shape. According to an eyewitnesses, Thomas Eric Duncan was seen vomiting on the ground outside an apartment complex as he was bundled into an ambulance. Mesud Osmanovic, described it to NBC News;

"His whole family was screaming. He got outside and he was throwing up all over the place."

CNN reports that more than 80 people have had at least indirect contact with Thomas Duncan. Officials said they have identified 12 to 18 people who Duncan came into contact with in the United States since he became contagious.

That number includes five students who attended four different schools in the area. Duncan's girlfriend's children were also exposed and the children are now being monitored at home, though none have exhibited Ebola symptoms.

According to Duncan's friend, who has spoken with him frequently, Duncan is in pain. He is in a serious condition. Texas health officials have also ordered his family members who had contact with him to stay home and not have visitors until Oct 19th to prevent the potential spread of disease.

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