UPDATE 6-Ebola patient dies in Texas; 5 U.S. airports to screen for fever

Wed Oct 8, 2014 6:40pm EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

(Adds infectious disease expert on treatment of Liberian who died in Texas hospital, paragraphs 6-11)

By Lisa Maria Garza and Richard Valdmanis

DALLAS Oct 8 (Reuters) - The first person diagnosed with Ebola in the United States died on Wednesday, underscoring questions about the quality of care he received, and the government ordered five airports to start screening passengers from West Africa for fever.

Liberian national Thomas Eric Duncan died in an isolation ward of a Dallas hospital, 11 days after being admitted on Sept. 28.

The case has stirred attention and concern that someone with Ebola had been able to fly into the United States from Liberia, raising the specter more passengers 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.

Duncan's death prompted questions about the timeliness of his care. The patient initially sought treatment two days before being admitted, but was sent home with antibiotics.

"I trust a thorough examination will take place regarding all aspects of his care," Duncan's fiancée, Louise Troh, wrote in a statement. Troh, in quarantine, added, "I am now dealing with the sorrow and anger that his son was not able to see him before he died."

Dr. Craig Smith, medical director for infectious disease at University Hospital in Augusta, Georgia said Ebola, like any disease, was easier to beat the sooner it was treated.   Continued...