New York City has its first Ebola case.
New York City has its first Ebola case.

Doctor Craig Spencer first Ebola case for New York City

A DOCTOR in in New York City who recently returned from treating Ebola patients in Guinea has tested positive for deadly Ebola virus.

The doctor, Craig Spencer, was rushed to Bellevue Hospital Center on Thursday and placed in isolation while health care workers spread out across the city to trace anyone he might have come into contact with in recent days, the New York Times reported.

A further test will be conducted by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to confirm the initial test.

The case is expected to pose enormous challenges given the population of the metropolis.

It emerged that he traveled from Manhattan to Brooklyn on the subway on Wednesday night, when he went to a bowling alley, and then took a taxi home.

The next morning, he reported having a temperature of 103 degrees, raising questions about his health while he was out in public.

People infected with Ebola cannot spread the disease until they begin to display symptoms, and it cannot be spread through the air.

The NYT reported that Dr. Spencer's travel history and the timing of the onset of his symptoms led health officials to dispatch disease detectives, who "immediately began to actively trace all of the patient's contacts to identify anyone who may be at potential risk," according to a statement released by the department.

"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."

In a statement, authorities reported that  "EMS HAZ TAC Units transferred to Bellevue Hospital a patient who presented a fever and gastrointestinal symptoms.  

"The patient is a health care worker who returned to the U.S. within the past 21 days from one of the three countries currently facing the outbreak of this virus.

"The patient was transported by a specially trained HAZ TAC unit wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). 

"After consulting with the hospital and the CDC, DOHMH has decided to conduct a test for the Ebola virus because of this patient's recent travel history, pattern of symptoms, and past work.

"Bellevue Hospital is designated for the isolation, identification and treatment of potential Ebola patients by the City and State. 

"New York City is taking all necessary precautions to ensure the health and safety of all New Yorkers.

"As a further precaution, beginning today, the Health Department's team of disease detectives immediately began to actively trace all of the patient's contacts to identify anyone who may be at potential risk.

"The Health Department staff has established protocols to identify, notify, and, if necessary, quarantine any contacts of Ebola cases.

"The Health Department is also working closely with HHC leadership, Bellevue's clinical team and the New York State Department of Health to ensure that all staff caring for the patient do so while following the utmost safety guidelines and protocols.

"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."



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