Dallas Ebola Patient's Bill Jumps $1K Per Hour

City on edge as incubation deadline nears
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 8, 2014 5:33 AM CDT
Updated Oct 8, 2014 7:48 AM CDT
Dallas Ebola Patient's Bill Goes Up $1K Per Hour
A hazardous material cleaner takes a break from cleaning the apartment where Thomas Eric Duncan, the Ebola patient who traveled from Liberia to Dallas, stayed last week.   (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Ebola doesn't just cause a horrific death: It'll leave you with a massive hospital bill if you survive, reports Bloomberg. Care for Liberian national Thomas Duncan, who is in critical condition at a Dallas hospital, is costing up to $1,000 an hour, and analysts believe the bill could total more than $500,000, including costs like security and decontamination. Duncan—who will also face criminal charges if he pulls through—has no health insurance, and it's not clear if the bill will ever be paid. "It's too early to make a decision about payment of bills; he is in critical condition," a Liberian Embassy spokesman says. "The focus is on his health." More:

  • Duncan, 42, is receiving an experimental drug, and health officials say there have been a few positive signs: He's still on dialysis, but his blood pressure and temperature are now normal, reports the New York Times.

  • None of the 48 people under observation who came into contact with him are showing Ebola symptoms. But with the incubation deadline days away, Dallas is on edge, reports the AP. "This is a very critical week," says Texas Health Commissioner David Lakey. "We're at a very sensitive period when a contact could develop symptoms. We're monitoring with extreme vigilance."
  • Before he became unresponsive, Duncan apologized to his fiancee and told her he would have "preferred to stay in Liberia and died than bring this to you," a family friend tells the Washington Post. The friend says he told her, "I'm so sorry all of this is happening ... I would not put the love of my life in danger."
  • Duncan's relatives have been able to view him via a video system, but they decided not to during a hospital visit yesterday because earlier images had been too disturbing. "What we saw was very painful. It didn't look good," a nephew tells the AP.
A fascinating read: How Firestone shut down Ebola. (More Thomas Duncan stories.)

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