Duncan had been admitted to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas Sept. 28 after first being released from the hospital's emergency room Sept. 25. Duncan had traveled to Dallas from Liberia where he had come into contact with a person who later died from Ebola. He left Liberia Sept. 19 and arrived in Dallas Sept. 20.
His condition was termed critical but stable Tuesday by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Thomas Frieden during a news briefing. Texas Resources had said of Duncan's condition Tuesday, “He is on a ventilator and receiving kidney dialysis. His liver function, which declined over the weekend, has improved, but doctors caution that this could vary in coming days.”
Duncan had been given an experimental drug, brincidofovir, an unapproved Ebola treatment produced by North Carolina-based Chimerix, after getting an emergency investigational new-drug application granted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, a spokeswoman with Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas stated in an e-mail update Monday.
Duncan's diagnosis as the first U.S. Ebola patient has set off a chain of reactions in the healthcare world, from vendors of electronic health records modifying their systems to help hospitals become more alert for possible Ebola patients, to the expectation for heightened screenings of arriving airline passengers.
The CDC and Texas health officials were monitoring 48 people as of Tuesday who had been in close or indirect contact with Duncan. Frieden said Tuesday that none of those people showed signs of being sick and none had a fever.
With Duncan's death, the only known Ebola patient in the U.S. now is an NBC cameraman who was flown to an isolation unit in Nebraska after developing Ebola while in Liberia. Ashoka Mukpo, 33, is being kept in a specialized containment unit at the Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha.
Follow John N. Frank on Twitter: @MHJFrank