United States Ebola Victim
The first Ebola victim in the United States, Thomas Eric Duncan, died early Wednesday, according to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas.
Texas Health Resources released a statement concerning the matter:
"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."
Duncan was in critical care after he was admitted last week for signs and symptoms of Ebola. Duncan was previously discharged from the hospital after his first visit and sent home with antibiotics. Although he told the hospital staff he had just traveled from Liberia, the hospital failed to run tests for Ebola. The hospital has since blamed the mishap on a "communication error caused by hospital software." Duncan was admitted two days after the initial discharge and tested positive for the deadly virus.
It is unclear how the hospital is dealing with Duncan's remains as they remain highly contagious.
Additional Patients Treated and "Monitored" in Texas
Texas health officials are monitoring over 48 people for signs and symptoms of Ebola, including a homeless man that rode in the ambulance after it transported Duncan to the hospital. Officials are taking the temperatures of said people two times per day.
A Dallas Sheriff's Deputy has reportedly been hospitalized with symptoms of Ebola. The deputy, Michael Monnig, apparently had "contact with Duncan's family" and recently complained of having "stomach issues." He never had direct contact with Duncan but did enter his apartment for roughly 30 minutes. Officials claim the man has "no chance" of contacting the virus and are choosing to treat Monnig "out of an abundance of caution."
Mooning sought medical attention for "stomach issues" at Care Now, an urgent care clinic. He told medical officials he felt nauseous and recently had interactions with Duncan's family. The clinic immediately transported him to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital and closed and decontaminated the clinic. All 14 patients present at Care Now at the time were screened for Ebola as a precaution.
Patients Hospitalized in NYC and LA as 'Precaution Measures'
A man who flew from Liberia to LAX was transported to Inglewood Hospital to be tested for Ebola. The man did not show any signs of illness but was tested as a precaution. The man, according to to the Los Angeles County health department could be released just hours after being tested. Health officials took the man to the hospital solely based on his travel history.
A man from Harlem was admitted to Bellevue Hospital after he exhibited signs of Ebola. The 31-year-old man had recently visited Nigeria but was cleared after being tested for the deadly virus.
Following the multitude of mistakes made in the case in Dallas, health officials seem to be on high alert and are acting out of an abundance of caution to ensure the virus does not spread on American soil.
A Spanish nurse was recently admitted for Ebola in Madrid. The nurse, working in a hospital in Madrid, became ill after treating a patient who contracted the virus while completing missionary work in the Ebola-stricken west African nation, Sierra Leone. The nurse is unaware how she caught the virus as she wore protective equipment when she treated the Ebola patient. She has since claimed she could have contracted the virus while taking off her protective equipment.
Over 30 individuals who had contact with the nurse are currently under surveillance but no-one else is currently under quarantine aside of the nurse. A team is working to make contact with anyone else who might have come into contact with the nurse.
Spanish officials euthanized the pet dog of the nurse, fearing the dog could have contracted Ebola. Protesters grew angry and launched an online campaign to the save the dog, Excalibur. Officials received a court order to euthanize the dog and moved forward despite the protests. Protesters did physically attempt to keep officials from taking the dog but were whisked away by police officers who used batons to clear a path to the van.
Spainards, including many health officials, have called for the resignation of the countries health minister. Widespread outrage about how Ebola cases have been handled have rocked the country.
The situation in West Africa remains dire as countries like Liberia and Sierra Leone struggle even burying the dead. Workers have gone on strike, complaining that they have not been paid in weeks. Liberia is reportedly in short supply of simple infectious disease control materials like soap, disinfectants, and gloves.
Ebola has claimed thousands of lives in West Africa and the infection rate is exponentially growing. The World Health Organization and Doctors Without Borders have both warned the outbreak is growing beyond control and has crippled the infrastructure of the impacted nations.
WHO further claims the current reported cases most likely underrepresent the breadth and scope of the current outbreak. Many Ebola patients, in West Africa, refuse treatment due to the impending consequences potentially created by the stigma associated with the virus. In addition, many West Africans hold superstitious beliefs both about the nature of the disease and about the governments' response.
WHO has also warned the current outbreak could reach over 1 million by 2015 if the spread of the virus cannot be mitigated by the health organization interventions.
Sierra Leone has attempted desperate measures to mitigate the spread of the virus. In September, the government ordered a 3 day mandatory quarantine of all citizens by staying in their homes.
Current Ebola Outbreak Breakdown
Guinea: Infected - 1,199, Deaths - 739 (62% death rate)
Liberia: Infected - 3,834 , Deaths - 2,069 (54% death rate)
Nigeria: Infected - 20, Deaths - 8 (40% death rate)
Senegal: Infected - 1, Deaths - 0 (0% death rate)
Sierra Leone: Infected - 2,437, Deaths - 623 (26% death rate)
United States: Infected - 1, Deaths - 0 (0% death rate)
Spain: Infected - 1, Deaths - 0 (0% death rate)
Total: Infected - 7,493, Deaths - 3,439 (46% death rate)
*data current from the Center for Disease Control as of October 6, 2014