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First U.S.-Diagnosed Ebola Patient Dies in Dallas Hospital

Thomas Duncan, the first patient ever diagnosed with Ebola inside the United States, became the first patient to die of the virus in the United States, passing away Wednesday morning at a Dallas hospital.

Duncan contracted the virus in September in his native country, Liberia, before traveling to the U.S. He flew through Washington D.C.’s Dulles airport before landing in Dallas on September 20. Authorities claim he presented no symptoms while traveling, making it unlikely that he spread the virus at that time.

He went to a Dallas emergency room on September 25, complaining of Ebola-like symptoms. But despite access to his travel history, doctors and nurses sent him home with antibiotics, missing a crucial treatment window.

His condition worsened considerably by the time he returned to the hospital and was diagnosed on September 28. He was kept in strict isolation as his health continued to wane. 

Duncan was not given an experimental antiviral drug until Tuesday, one day before his death. Other patients repatriated to the United States received the drug earlier in their treatment, and were able to recover from the deadly illness.

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