This morning, at approximately 7am, the first patient to be diagnosed with Ebola died at Texas Presbyterian Hospital. Thomas Eric Duncan was, 42 years old.
Originally from Liberia, he was exposed to Ebola after being in contact with a women infected by the disease.
Dr. David Lakey, commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services via CNN, released this statement following Duncan’s death.
“The past week has been an enormous test of our health system, but for one family it has been far more personal. Today, they lost a dear member of their family. They have our sincere condolences and we are keeping them in our thoughts. The doctors, nurses and staff at Presbyterian provided excellent and compassionate care, but Ebola is a disease that attacks the body in many ways. We will continue every effort to contain the spread of the virus and protect people from this threat.”
His family members who are being held in observation, have questions concerning the care he received. Namely, why he was initially turned away by triage, and why did it take the Hospital a week to get him on an experimental drug?
Dr. Alex Van Tulleken, and Ebola expert, spoke with CNN’s Brooke Baldwin, “In the ‘wake of this personal tragedy,’ depositing of the body becomes a top priority. Ebola patients are potentially more contagious in the hours after their death.”
Dr. Van Tulleken, states that the body will have to be doubly wrapped vs. washed.
Addressing transportation issues he states, “the guy driving the body, will not have to be wearing protective gear. But the people dealing with the body in the mortuary have to be decontaminated. As well as the mortuary.”
Dr. Van Tulleken added that he recognizes the plethora of public health issues, but says the most important one is why Duncan was released from the hospital in the first place.
Have a tip we should know? firstname.lastname@example.org