Tags: Ebola Outbreak | Ebola | Texas | Liberia

Ebola Patient 'Knew' He Had Virus, Flew to US to Survive

Friday, 03 October 2014 12:31 PM

The Liberian victim of Ebola quarantined in a Dallas hospital knew he had the deadly disease before he flew to the United States in a desperate attempt to save his life, according to reports in Liberia's Daily Observer.

The Ebola patient, Thomas Eric Duncan, had been helping a pregnant woman with the virus shortly before he abruptly quit his job after receiving a U.S. travel visa, his former boss and an ex-coworker told the newspaper.

Henry Brunson, the manager of SafeWay Cargo in Monrovia, a licensed agent of FedEx, said that Duncan knew he was infected with the virus, "having directly participated in efforts to help save the life of his landlord's daughter," one report said.

Brunson said Duncan was his personal chauffeur before he suddenly just "walked out" on Sept. 4. He never heard from him again until it was revealed that he was the first Ebola case to be diagnosed in the U.S.

Brunson told the Observer that although Duncan may possibly have infected other people, he's "glad" that Duncan is in the U.S. where he has the best chance of surviving. "If he were in Liberia, he was going to surely die," Brunson said.

Nathaline Williams, the 19-year-old daughter of Duncan's landlord, was seven months pregnant when she died of Ebola on Sept. 16, after being turned away by three major hospitals, the Observer reported.

According to sources, a taxi drove Nathaline, her parents and Duncan to the hospitals, and it was Duncan who carried her when they returned after their failed attempt to get medical treatment.

Williams' brother and aunt are said to have died from the virus while her parents are being treated in an Ebola isolation unit. The taxi driver has since visited a clinic after suffering from a fever.

In another Observer report, an unnamed source also claimed that Duncan likely knew he had been stricken by the virus.

"A source at FedEx in Monrovia said Mr. Duncan apparently knew he was suffering from the disease and that his best chance of survival was reaching the United States," wrote Observer reporter Omari Jackson, "a position that a family source denied, when we sought confirmation."

That source and other people who knew Duncan told the paper that it was apparently "a desperate attempt to survive."

Breitbart said that Duncan's decision to suddenly leave his job and abruptly fly to America "raises questions" about whether he ever intended to leave the U.S. after his visa-approved visiting period.

Duncan arrived in Dallas from Liberia last month, with plans to visit girlfriend Louise Troh and "start a new life in America" with her, according to an email sent Friday to the congregation of Wilshire Baptist Church, where Troh is a member, Bloomberg News reports.

"Louise and other members of her extended family are in isolation now because of their contact with Mr. Duncan," said George Mason, who the church's website identifies as a senior pastor. "You can imagine how frightening this must be for all of them, mixed with the sadness of Mr. Duncan's diagnosis."

Duncan, who is now in an isolation unit at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, faces prosecution when and if he returns to Liberia for lying on an airport questionnaire about not having any contact with an infected person.

Troh was is in quarantine in an east Dallas apartment.

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The Liberian victim of Ebola quarantined in a Dallas hospital knew he had the deadly disease before he flew to the United States in a desperate attempt to save his life, according to reports in Liberia’s Daily Observer.
Ebola, Texas, Liberia
Friday, 03 October 2014 12:31 PM
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