Doctor Becomes First Person to Test Positive for Ebola in New York

A doctor in New York City has tested positive for the Ebola virus.

According to The New York Times, Dr. Craig Spencer had been treating Ebola patients in Guinea. Spencer works with Doctors Without Borders and returned from Guinea on Oct. 14. He reportedly began to feel “sluggish” on Tuesday of this week and on Thursday developed a fever. He contacted Doctors Without Borders and the organization contacted authorities:

Emergency medical workers, wearing full personal protective gear, rushed to Dr. Spencer’s apartment, on West 147th Street. He was transported to Bellevue and arrived shortly after 1 p.m. He was placed in a special isolation unit and is being seen by the pre-designated medical critical care team. They are in personal protective equipment with undergarment air ventilation systems.
Bellevue doctors have prepared for an Ebola patient with numerous drills and tests using “test patients” as well as actual treatment of suspected cases that turned out to be false alarms.
A health care worker at the hospital said that Dr. Spencer seemed very sick and it was unclear to the medical staff why he had not gone to the hospital earlier, since his fever was high, at 103.

Authorities are working to retrace Spencer’s steps, according to a statement from the city’s department of health. He reportedly took the subway on Wednesday night to go bowling in Brooklyn and later possibly took a taxi home.

According to the New York City Department of Health “the chances of the average New Yorker contracting Ebola are extremely slim. Ebola is spread by directly touching the bodily fluids of an infected person. You cannot be infected simply by being near someone who has Ebola.”

Spencer is currently under quarantine at Bellevue.

Image via Getty.

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