DALLAS, Texas – Authorities say the first person diagnosed with Ebola on American soil has died.
On Sept. 29, officials put 42-year-old Thomas Eric Duncan in isolation at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas after showing symptoms of Ebola.
A day later, the CDC confirmed that Duncan was the first case of Ebola ever diagnosed in the United States.
Authorities say Duncan flew from Liberia to the U.S. to visit family and became ill after arriving.
He went to the hospital and told staff that he had just traveled from Africa.
However, he was then sent home with antibiotics.
A few days later, he returned to the hospital.
“A travel history was taken, but it wasn’t communicated to the people who were making the decision. … It was a mistake. They dropped the ball,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Hospital officials have acknowledged that the patient’s travel history wasn’t “fully communicated” to doctors, but also said in a statement that based on his symptoms, there was no reason to admit him when he first came to the emergency room.
Within the past several days, Duncan’s condition has deteriorated.
Wendell Watson, the director of public relations at Texas Health Resources, released the following statement on Wednesday:
“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.”
The group of people who Duncan came in contact with are still in isolation at this time.