Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan died Wednesday morning, according to a statement from a Texas Health Resources spokesperson.
"It is with profound sadness and heartfelt disappointment that we must inform you of the death of Thomas Eric Duncan this morning at 7:51 am," says the statement made by Wendell Watson, public relations director at the hospital.
"Mr. Duncan succumbed to an insidious disease, Ebola. He fought courageously in this battle," the statement says.
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins also released a statement, saying his thoughts are with Duncan's family and friends, "especially his fiancee Louise, their son Karsiah and all those who loved him."
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Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings's statement says in part that the city "will stop the Ebola virus in its tracks from spreading into our community. I want to reinforce to the public, that this was an isolated incident of the Ebola virus contracted by the individual while residing in another country."
Revealed Wednesday afternoon were the government's plans to begin taking the temperatures of travelers from West Africa arriving at five U.S. airports as part of a stepped-up response to the Ebola epidemic.
At the White House, spokesman Josh Earnest said an additional layer of screening would begin at New York’s JFK International and the international airports in Newark, Washington Dulles, Chicago and Atlanta. He did not give many details, but another official said separately that the new steps would include taking temperatures and would begin Saturday at JFK.
That official was not authorized to describe the change by name and spoke only on condition of anonymity.
Earnest said the five airports cover the destinations of 94 percent of the people who travel to the U.S. from the three heavily hit countries in West Africa – Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.
The Texas victim, Duncan, 42, arrived in Dallas on Sept. 20 and fell ill a few days later. He went to the emergency room at Texas Health Presbyterian Dallas Hospital on Sept. 25, but was discharged. He returned two days later and was diagnosed with Ebola on Sept. 30.
He was given the experimental drug brincidofovir.
Duncan had stayed with his girlfriend, Louise Troh, and other family members at The Ivy Apartments in Dallas before he was hospitalized. Troh and the three other family members who had been quarantined in the apartment were moved Friday to an undisclosed location.
They are considered "high risk" contacts, and another 38 people, including the ambulance crew that brought Duncan to the hospital, are seen as "low-risk" contacts. The quarantine period is 21 days after possible exposure.
The apartment where Duncan stayed was cleaned up by The Cleaning Guys of Fort Worth, who donned hazmat suits and worked around the clock to do the job.
Zachary Thompson, Dallas County's Health and Human Services director, is asking the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to conduct an assessment of the northeast Dallas complex - or recommend someone else to do one, for the "comfort level" of the residents at the apartment complex.
The Dallas school district plans to make counseling available to students and staff, according to a statement posted online. The statement says the five students who possibly had contact with Duncan still have no symptoms and will not return to school until the 21-day quarantine period is over.
Dr. David Lakey, the commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services, in a statement called the past week "an enormous test of our health system, but for one family it has been far more personal. Today they lost a dear member of their family."
He added, "We'll continue every effort to contain the spread of the virus and protect people from this threat."