Thomas Eric Duncan died early in the morning on Wednesday, his 18th day in America. There are reports that he was showing signs of being ill when he boarded his flight from Liberia on the 19th of September, arriving here on the 20th after lying on a questionnaire there about his exposure to Ebola.
The Liberian government has said they were going to try him for lying on that form before boarding that flight. He might have been exposed when he assisted a pregnant woman with the virus to the hospital. That woman eventually died also. The date of this act that has been reported by many news outlets is unknown at the moment.
On the date he arrived in Dallas the family held a welcome to America party for Duncan. The number of those present has not been made public. Those people including family members and the woman he intended to marry are now on their 18th day after exposure to Duncan. None of them has fell ill with any symptoms yet.
On the 24th Duncan became ill enough that the date was remembered by family members. On September 26th he went to the hospital and was sent home by a hospital that had been training for two weeks on preparedness for this disease. Those healthworkers that saw Duncan then are now on their 14th day after exposure. None of these are showing signs that they have become sick with ebola either.
On the 28th after having received a phone call from Duncan’s nephew an ambulance with two EMTs and a Dallas County deputy were sent to his apartment to take Duncan back to the hospital. They entered without any protective gear. Today on the date of Duncan’s death the deputy went to a Care Now facility in Frisco just outside of Dallas exhibiting symptoms of the disease. He was then transferred to the same hospital that ebola patient zero had just died in. This was just the 10th day after this deputy’s exposure to the disease.
It has not been confirmed that what the deputy has is ebola at this time but this tells me that over the next week or two the numbers of people getting sick should be on the rise. First the family of Duncan and the people at the party will become ill, then anyone he might have seen in the mean time before going to the hosptial will become ill, then the staff at the hospital that saw Duncan on his visit there, and then the EMTs will become ill. All this is assuming that he wasn’t already sick while flying from Liberia through Brussels and DC to DFW International Airport. If we have cases popping up along that route then we know most likely that he was sick during the flight. These cases should start showing up any time now.
We know by reports in the press there were 48-100 people that came into contact with the patient with 10 of those being high risk for the disease. In the next week we will hear the same stories that there is no concern for the general public and we shouldn’t worry. I bet they told the deputy the same thing when he went to get Duncan to transport him to the hospital. Now he is in a hospital being tested for the disease.
So be prepared for the next week or two of reports of more victims falling ill to the virus. We might not get factual information from our government if and when they do. Take all precautions you can and wash your hands often and stay safe out there. Please.