Dallas Ebola patient Thomas Duncan is dead but still highly infectious and will be cremated without an autopsy, according to health officials in Texas. The 42-year-old Liberian national's body will be dealt with under CDC guidelines, wrapped in a plastic shroud with IV lines still in place and put inside a body bag, reports NPR. Louise Troh, the girlfriend Duncan came to the US to marry, is in "shock and despair," the pastor who delivered news of his death tells NBC, and the three young relatives in quarantine with her are "stunned" and afraid they could be next. In a statement released yesterday, Troh described Duncan as a "wonderful man who showed compassion toward all" and said she trusts "a thorough examination will take place regarding all aspects of his care."
At a Dallas church where a vigil will be held for Duncan, a pastor says his presence in America alerted the country to the suffering in Africa, reports the Dallas Morning News. "If for some reason Mr. Duncan had not been able to get on a plane to the United States, he would have remained a faceless, nameless individual that we didn't care about," he says. "But because he came here, we know his name, his face, and his story." Duncan was not treated as a potential Ebola patient when he first went to the hospital, despite having told staff he had traveled from Africa. A spokeswoman for the Texas Department of State Health Services tells the New York Times that the three-day delay in treating Duncan will probably be investigated, but the "top focus right now is the contact investigation and monitoring." (Read more Thomas Duncan stories.)