Thomas Eric Duncan entered the U.S. with a tourist visa. He had direct contact with a woman stricken by Ebola in Liberia only four days earlier. The woman was turned away from a hospital, since there was no room in its Ebola treatment ward. She was taken back home and died later the same evening. Duncan helped carry the victim and was likely aware of having been exposed to the virus.
He lied about his history of contact with the disease on an airport questionnaire, by answering “no” to a question about his contact with any person who might have been stricken with Ebola in the past 21 days.