Thomas Eric Duncan was being treated at a hospital in Dallas, Texas, which released a statement following his death on Wednesday.
“It is with profound sadness and heartfelt disappointment that we must inform you of the death of Thomas Eric Duncan this morning,” the Texas Health Presbyterian hospital said.
“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,” the statement continued.
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Growing international concern for Ebola
The disease has killed more than 3,400 in West Africa since the beginning of the current outbreak, including in Duncan’s native country Liberia. Authorities are struggling to contain the threat of the highly infectious virus.
The deceased arrived in the U.S. from Liberia on September 19 to meet up with his girlfriend, and mother of his son, Louise Troh. Duncan presented himself at the hospital after falling ill, but was turned away. He was admitted two days later after becoming more seriously sick.
An ambulance brought him to Texas Health Presbyterian on September 28, and he was placed in isolation. His girlfriend, Troh, and three family members are under quarantine until October 19. Commentators have criticized the length of time it took to move the family from their apartment to an undisclosed quarantine location.
It took until last Tuesday to confirm that Duncan was infected with Ebola, by which time his condition had worsened. Despite treatment with the experimental antiviral drug brincidofovir, he was placed on dialysis and had to breathe through a respirator.
Duncan’s chances of survival were always slim. Robert Murphy, a professor of medicine and biomedical engineering at Northwestern University in Chicago said that around 70% of Ebola patients in West Africa are dying of the virus, including 60% of those who succeed in receiving medical attention.
Murphy went on to say that the delay in successfully diagnosing Duncan with Ebola likely contributed to his death.