Ebola patient “fighting for his life” in Dallas.

Ebola Patient “Fighting for his Life” in Dallas as NBC Freelancer Heads to Nebraska

Ebola Patient “Fighting for his Life” in Dallas as NBC Freelancer Heads to Nebraska

The Slatest
Your News Companion
Oct. 5 2014 1:53 PM

Ebola Patient “Fighting for his Life” in Dallas as NBC Freelancer Heads to Nebraska

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Members of the Cleaning Guys Haz Mat clean up company work on sanitizing the apartment where Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan was staying before being admitted to a hospital

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person to develop Ebola in the United States was “fighting for his life” Sunday. "The man in Dallas, who is fighting for his life, is the only patient to develop Ebola in the United States," CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden said on CNN. During a news conference, Frieden said the patient ‘has taken a turn for the worse,’” reports NBC News. For now, the agency is receiving a flood of phone calls about Ebola but Texas officials are focusing on trying to find a “low-risk individual” who may have had contact with Duncan. This person apparently was being monitored but then went “missing.”

Meanwhile, Ashoka Mukpo, the freelance NBC News cameraman who was diagnosed with Ebola last week is “counting the minutes” to be flown to Nebraska for treatment, his father told NBC. The 33-year-old Mukpo, who is the fifth American to be diagnosed with Ebola, will be leaving Liberia Sunday afternoon on a specially-equipped plane. Mukpo is reportedly “not that ill” and is in “great spirits,” Nebraska Medical Center spokesman Taylor Wilson said.

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Earlier, Frieden was on Meet the Press and warned that it will take a while for drugs to fight Ebola to reach West Africa. "The drug pipeline is going to be slow, I'm afraid,” Frieden said. "The most promising drug, ZMapp, there’s no more of it, and it’s hard to make, it takes months to make just a bit." For the most part though, health officials continued to highlight that they’re confident the United States won’t suffer a broad outbreak of Ebola and rejected increasing calls for a travel ban, points out the Wall Street Journal.

“When you start closing off countries like that, there’s a real danger of making things worse,” Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said. “You isolate them, you can cause unrest in the country. It’s conceivable that governments could fall if you isolate them completely.”

And for those interested in Ebola news, the Washington Post takes a fascinating, in-depth look at how the world was slow to react to the crisis. “Previous Ebola outbreaks had been quickly throttled, but that experience proved misleading and officials did not grasp the potential scale of the disaster,” reports the Post. “Their imaginations were unequal to the virulence of the pathogen.”

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the Today’s Papers column from 2006 to 2009. Follow him on Twitter.