The Dallas hospital that treated Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the United States, is defending its actions in the wake of his death, according to Boston.com.
Texas Health Presbyterian has come under fire for its handling of Duncan's case, including sending him home with antibiotics when he initially reported his symptoms, which may have legal repercussions as well. Duncan, who died this week, was also not given the same experimental drug as two aid workers treated for the virus at Atlanta's Emory University Hospital.
Texas Health officials denied allegations that Duncan was given lesser treatment compared to the other Ebola patients who sought care in the United States. "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," said Wendell Watson, director of public relations at Texas Health Resources, in a statement to Boston.com. "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."
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Tom Frieden, M.D., said during a press conference Thursday that the outbreak of the virus in West Africa was on the level of the AIDS crisis, according to the Washington Post. However, one crucial distinction between the two is that Ebola cannot be transmitted until a carrier displays symptoms.
Meanwhile, the emergence of the Ebola crisis as a political football in the U.S., with conservatives hammering President Barack Obama for not instituting a travel ban for affected nations, may complicate health agencies' work, according to the New Yorker.
But Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell said Thursday that, with another patient in Dallas being treated for Ebola-like symptoms, "we have to recognize … as a nation" that there may be other cases in the U.S., according to The Hill. An Australian nurse is also being tested for possible symptoms, according to Voice of America.