Ebola Update: Texas Health Presbyterian Issues Statement On the Death of Ebola Patient Thomas Duncan

This is a Real Estate blog, but many of us have concerns — and maybe even some panic — over our home, Dallas, now being Ground Zero for treating and burying the first Ebola victim in the United States.

THR logoIn New York, airplane-cabin cleaners for a Delta Air Lines Inc. contractor at LaGuardia Airport have gone on strike, partly due to concerns about the risk of Ebola and other hazards. 

We are so very sorry for the death of Thomas Duncan yesterday at Texas Health Presbyterian. May he rest in peace. There have been concerns and rumors over how he was treated, why he was not put into immediate isolation, and who may have come into contact with him. DISD and Highland Park Schools are concerned over children who may have come into contact with Duncan’s family members and friends, and Park Cities parents are concerned that Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, who showed loving compassion to Mr. Duncan’s family, may be somehow spreading germs to others in his daughter’s school — some parents are keeping their children at home:

Jenkins has spent considerable time with the family from a Vickery Meadow apartment where Duncan stayed. Over the weekend, he drove the family members to an undisclosed location, where they will wait in isolation to see if they fall ill.

None of the family members has developed symptoms of Ebola. Therefore, health experts say, there’s no possible risk of their transmitting the disease.

Jenkins said he met with the family in part to show the community that there’s no cause for panic. At one point, he mentioned that he hadn’t so much as changed his shirt after spending time with the family.

“If there was any risk, I wouldn’t expose myself or my family,” he said.

What Judge Jenkins says makes sense, of course, but I recall the first time my husband assisted in the delivery of a patient with a highly communicable disease years ago — I was terrified. It made sense to find a safe haven for Mr. Duncan’s family and supply them with food and supplies while in isolation. Hopefully, no one else will contract this dreadful disease. If Dallas had to be the first city in the U.S. where an Ebola patient was diagnosed with the dreaded virus, then let it also be known as the city that showed loving compassion to the victim’s family and friends, and contained the virus before it affected or killed any others.

With this in mind, I am curious as to what the real estate community thinks: have newcomers been asking about the Ebola case in Dallas?

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Ebola Update, Oct. 9, 3:01 p.m. CDT

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Statement Regarding Mr. Thomas Eric Duncan

DALLAS — Yesterday morning at 7:51 a.m. CDT, Mr. Thomas Eric Duncan died after a courageous battle with Ebola. Mr. Duncan’s family has experienced a personal and profound loss, and we share their grief.

Ebola is an insidious disease that attacks the body in multiple ways. Last Saturday, Oct. 4, Mr. Duncan’s condition changed from serious to critical and remained critical, as reported in our daily patient updates. Wednesday morning, Oct. 8, his condition deteriorated. In spite of the intensive care he was receiving, his heart stopped. Early in his hospital stay, Mr. Duncan had expressed his wishes to his attending physician that the care team should not perform chest compressions, defibrillation or cardioversion to prolong his life.

Mr. Duncan’s physicians treated him with the most appropriate and available medical interventions, including the investigative antiviral drug Brincidofovir. After consulting with experts across the country, the CDC, and the FDA, the investigative drug was administered as soon as his physicians determined that his condition warranted it, and as soon as it could be obtained. Mr. Duncan was the first Ebola patient to receive this drug.

The drug ZMapp was not administered to Mr Duncan because it was not available. According to the CDC and the drug manufacturer, it has not been available since August 12, 2014.

Mr. Duncan did not receive the same type of serum transfusion as the patient in Nebraska because his blood type was not compatible with the serum donors.

A team of more than 50 people cared for him in a professional and compassionate manner. An entire 24-bed intensive care unit was secured and dedicated to Mr. Duncan’s care. The treatment area remains sealed and is being aggressively decontaminated.

In addition, we’d like to correct some misconceptions that have been reported about Mr. Duncan’s first visit. Our care team provided Mr. Duncan with the same high level of attention and care that would be given any patient, regardless of nationality or ability to pay for care. In this case that included a four-hour evaluation and numerous tests. We have a long history of treating a multicultural community in this area.

The nurses, doctors, and team who cared for him, as well as the entire Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas community, grieve the loss of Mr. Duncan.


Wendell Watson, Director
Public Relations