By Glynn Cosker
Editor, In Homeland Security
A New York City doctor who arrived in the U.S. from Guinea Oct. 17 tested positive for the Ebola virus after preliminary testing Thursday. The man, identified as Craig Spencer by numerous media outlets, becomes the fourth person diagnosed with Ebola on American soil and the first outside of Texas. He was in West Africa working for Doctors Without Borders.
Spencer came down with a fever and abdominal pains—often the first two Ebola symptoms to appear–and was rushed from his Manhattan apartment to Bellevue Hospital and placed into an isolation ward. The CDC sent a team to the hospital Thursday night but there was no official statement released.
According to The New York Times, Spencer felt “sluggish” Tuesday and subsequently spiked a fever of 103 degrees Thursday.
To alleviate the obvious concerns about a person with Ebola in the most populous city in the country, New York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene said in a statement: “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.”
Doctors Without Borders released a statement saying, “As per the specific guidelines that Doctors Without Borders provides its staff on their return from Ebola assignments, the individual engaged in regular health monitoring and reported this development immediately.”
The CDC said Wednesday that anybody arriving in the U.S. from Guinea (as well as Liberia or Sierra Leone), is subject to a 21-day monitoring period. Spencer is one of about 50 people tested for the Ebola virus in recent weeks.
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