The first patient diagnosed with Ebola virus in the United States died Wednesday morning, the Dallas hospital where he was being treated announced.
Thomas Eric Duncan, who traveled to Texas from Liberia before exhibiting symptoms of the viral disease, was admitted to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital early last week and tested positive for Ebola.
This 2011 photo provided by Wilmot Chayee shows Thomas Eric Duncan, the first Ebola patient diagnosed in the U.S., at a wedding in Ghana. Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas announced Wednesday that Duncan had died. (AP/Wilmot Chayee)
Duncan, 42, had been in critical condition for several days. He died at 7:51 a.m. local time Wednesday.
"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 hospital said in a statement.
Duncan's case raised concerns about the possibility of more infected patients coming to the U.S. unknowingly. Since then, officials have discussed more screening at airports and other travel guidance that could be put in place to prevent such cases.
Duncan traveled to America on Sept. 20 from Liberia, one of the West African countries overrun by the historic outbreak, and later began to experience symptoms, like fever and vomiting. He went to the emergency room of Texas Health Presbyterian on Sept. 24, but was sent home. By Sept. 27, his condition had worsened. An ambulance that day took him back to the hospital, where he stayed in isolation up to his death.
The hospital has changed its explanation several times about when Duncan arrived and what he said about his travel history. It later acknowledged that Duncan told them on his first visit that he came from West Africa.
Health officials identified 10 people, including seven health workers, who had direct contact with Duncan while he was contagious. Another 38 people also may have come into contact with him.
Hazardous material cleaners disinfectant their personal protective equipment after working in the apartment where Thomas Eric Duncan, the Ebola patient who traveled from Liberia to Dallas, stayed. (AP/LM Otero)
The four people living in the northeast Dallas apartment where Duncan stayed have been isolated in a private residence.
Everyone who potentially had contact with Duncan will be monitored for 21 days, the normal incubation period for the disease, which is transmitted through direct contact with infected bodily fluids.
According to the World Health Organization, more than 7,400 people have been infected with the virus in West Africa and more than 3,400 have died.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.