The remains of Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person to die of Ebola in the U.S. have been cremated, Texas state health department officials said Friday. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control has implemented strict guidelines for the handling of Ebola victims' bodies, because the virus can be transmitted in postmorten care settings. It has directed that bodies infected with Ebola virus should not be embalmed, but rather, cremated or buried in a hermetically sealed casket.
Duncan died Wednesday at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, where he was diagnosed with the disease on Sept. 28. Duncan first went to the hospital two days earlier complaining of fever and abdominal pain, but was sent home, leading his family to accuse Texas Health Presbyterian of failing to provide "appropriate care." Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital said in a statement Friday that it has "made changes" to its intake process "as well as other procedures to better screen for all critical indicators of Ebola virus" and is reviewing the "chain of events" related to Duncan's diagnosis.
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— Maggie Fox and Elisha Fieldstadt