America's First Ebola Patient, Thomas Eric Duncan, Has Died

The first US Ebola patient, Thomas Eric Duncan, who was treated in Texas, has just died:

  • TEXAS HEALTH REPORTS DEATH OF EBOLA PATIENT THOMAS ERIC DUNCAN

And while we await the inevitable CDC press conference to follow, the stock of CMRX, whose medicine was being used to treat him, is plunging.

 

As Bloomberg reports,

Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S., died from the virus while in isolation at a Dallas hospital.

 

Duncan was diagnosed with the disease on Sept. 30 after contracting it in his native Liberia, where Ebola has infected about 7,500 people, killing half. He had come to the country to marry his girlfriend, Louise Troh, who is now being quarantined and has not yet shown symptoms of the disease.

 

"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,” Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital said in a statement today.

Some more from Bloomberg:

Duncan was in serious condition until Saturday, when his kidneys failed and he was put on dialysis. That afternoon he received the experimental drug brincidofovor, made by Durham, North Carolina-based Chimerix Inc (CMRX), according to statements from the hospital, which has declined to say if the patient received any other experimental treatment. 

 

Duncan was also receiving oxygen on a ventilator and medication to stave off infection, according to the hospital.

 

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.”

So the lawsuits are coming.

In any event, one can only hope he is the last Ebola casualty on US soil. Unfortunately, when the best plan the "smartest and brightest" in the room can come up with is to take the temperature of West Africa travelers, he won't be.

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