The Ebola patient in a Dallas hospital is receiving an experimental antiviral drug called brincidofovir that was authorized on an emergency basis by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, officials announced Monday afternoon.
The “investigational medication” was first administered to Thomas Eric Duncan, 42, at 2:14 p.m. Monday, said Candace White, a spokeswoman for Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital.
Duncan is the first person to be diagnosed with the Ebola virus on U.S. soil. He was hospitalized Sept. 28 after symptoms developed while he was on his first trip to the U.S. to visit Louise Troh, who is now one of 10 people considered to have had “high-risk” contact with Duncan.
Duncan was in critical but stable condition Monday, White said.
The drug is manufactured by Chimerix, which is working with the FDA to finalize a clinical trial to assess its safety, tolerablity and efficacy, according to a company statement. Brincidofovir is taken orally and is being tested against several common viruses.
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said city workers have been in contact with Troh and her family. Rawlings spoke during a Monday afternoon press briefing with Texas Health Commissioner David Lakey and Dallas Councilwoman Jennifer Staubach Gates, who represents the Vickery Meadow neighborhood where Troh lives and Duncan was visiting.
Gates said the biggest concern of the Vickery Meadow community is that residents feel there is a stigma attached to them. They have had hard times finding jobs, she said.
Rawlings said there are “zero symptoms out there.”
Lakey said he couldn’t say how much it has cost taxpayers to care for Duncan, who is a Liberian national and does not have insurance.
A total of 48 people are being monitored for Ebola symptoms because they had some sort of contact with Duncan. If none develop by Oct. 19, three weeks from Sept. 28, they will be released from monitoring.
The Fort Worth-based The Cleaning Guys finished decontamination work at Troh’s apartment on Monday. About 140 barrels were filled with items taken from the apartment, including bed sheets, towels and three mattresses used by Duncan.
Most everything taken from the apartment will be destroyed, but some personal items were saved for family members, such as important legal documents like passports, immigration documents, trophies, hard drives and a ible that belonged to Troh’s grandmother.
The materials were cleaned by the hazmat crew.
Brad Smith, The Cleaning Guys’ vice president, told the Star-Telegram late Sunday that they are prepared to do similar work again if needed.
The family was moved to another location Friday.
Also Monday, Parkland Hospital officials said that Michael Lively, the homeless man who rode in the ambulance after Duncan was taken to the hospital on Sept. 28, was no longer at the hospital and referred questions to Dallas County officials.
Lively is now one of the 38 people considered at “low-risk” for Ebola but who must be monitored for 21 days. Monitoring consists of taking their temperature twice a day.
Dallas City spokeswoman Sana Syed said she could not disclose Lively’s location, but that “he is in a safe place being provided with food and care.”