For the better part of this year, Ebola has been in the headlines. The fatal disease has ravaged parts of Africa, and over the summer, some Americans working in the country were brought back to the states to be treated. Miraculously, a few of them have survived, but the number of people who have died from the disease far outweighs that statistic. Now, the very first Ebola patient has been diagnosed in the United States, and there are finally some details coming in about this individual.
The patient, identified as Thomas Eric Duncan, was diagnosed in Dallas, Texas and is the very first person to be diagnosed in the states. Duncan is a Liberian national, and reports say that on his flight from Africa to the U.S., he exhibited no symptoms of the deadly disease. Upon arriving in America, however, he started to get really sick, so he went to a hospital. After a workup, even after he informed someone that he had recently traveled from Africa, doctors sent him home on an antibiotic. Just two days later, reports say that Duncan’s family made him go back when they discovered him vomiting uncontrollably outside of an apartment complex.
“His whole family was screaming. He got outside and he was throwing up all over the place,” said 21-year-old witness Mesud Osmanovic.
Duncan was immediately admitted to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital and placed in the intensive care unit after doctors finally put the pieces of the puzzle together; the man had traveled from Africa and was exhibiting telltale signs of the Ebola virus.
Reports are now suggesting that just prior to flying to the states to visit his girlfriend, Duncan had helped transport a pregnant Liberian woman sick with Ebola back to her family’s home when she was turned away from a hospital. He had first come in contact with her in a taxi when she was turned away from the hospital, so he made the decision to help bring her back to her family’s home after witnessing that. Sadly, the woman died later that night, and Duncan flew to the United States four days later.
“He was holding her by the legs, the pa was holding her arms and Sonny Boy was holding her back,” said 31-year-old witness Arren Seyou.
Since reports first surfaced of Duncan’s diagnosis in Dallas, many people are still worried that the disease will spread like it has in Africa. Just yesterday, breaking reports said that one person who came in contact with Duncan in the U.S. might have contracted the virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, however, has maintained that they are making sure that the disease under control.