Date
17 August 2017
A health professional at the Bellevue Hospital Center in New York wears protective clothing during a demonstration of procedures in handling suspected Ebola cases on Wednesday. Photo: AFP
A health professional at the Bellevue Hospital Center in New York wears protective clothing during a demonstration of procedures in handling suspected Ebola cases on Wednesday. Photo: AFP

US Ebola patient dies as airports step up screening

Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the United States, died on Wednesday, as the US government ordered five airports to start screening passengers from West Africa for fever.

Duncan, a Liberian national, died in an isolation ward of Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, 11 days after being admitted on Sept. 28, Reuters reported.

The case has fueled concerns that more passengers with the deadly virus could arrive and spread the disease outside of West Africa, where nearly 4,000 people have died in three impoverished countries.

The White House said extra screening for fever will be carried out for arriving passengers from West Africa. The screening will start at New York’s John F. Kennedy airport from the weekend, and later be used at Newark Liberty, Washington Dulles, Chicago O’Hare and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta, the report said.

Duncan had been in critical condition and on a ventilator and kidney dialysis at the Dallas hospital. He was given an experimental medication to try to keep him alive, starting Saturday, six days after being admitted.

Questions were raised about the treatment he received. Experts pointed out that the experimental drug brincidofovir has not been tested on humans or animals. On the other hand, TKM-Ebola, a drug which has been tested on humans, was given to another US patient, Dr. Rick Sancra, who contracted Ebola while working in Liberia and was cured.

Still, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other US health officials insist the chances of Ebola spreading in the US are very slim.

Meanwhile, a doctor in Madrid said the Spanish nurse infected with Ebola remembers touching her face with her gloves after treating a dying priest, suggesting that it could be a reason why she contracted the disease, BBC News reported.

The nurse, Teresa Romero, is the first person known to have contracted Ebola outside West Africa. She had treated two Spanish missionaries who later died from Ebola.

Romero remains in quarantine, while more than 50 people who had come into contact with her are under observation, the report said.

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CG

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