October 28, 2014
By Dennis ThompsonHealthDay Reporter
Latest Infectious Disease News
FRIDAY, Oct. 24, 2014 (HealthDay News) — A New York City doctor who recently returned from West Africa infected with Ebola is in stable condition at Bellevue Hospital, media reports say.
Dr. Craig Spencer had been working with the medical aid agency Doctors Without Borders, helping to treat Ebola patients in Guinea, one of three West African countries hit hard by the disease.
According to The New York Times, Spencer, 33, had returned to New York City from Guinea on Oct. 14, and by 11 a.m. on Thursday morning he had developed a 100.3-degree fever. He immediately alerted Doctors Without Borders. Emergency medical workers in full personal protective gear transported him from his Manhattan apartment to Bellevue Hospital, where he has been since 1 p.m.
Three people he was in contact with in recent days, including two friends and Spencer’s fiance, have been placed in isolation, the Times reported.
On Wednesday, Spencer traveled on two subway lines from Manhattan into the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, visited a bowling alley there and then took a taxi back to Manhattan.
According to the Times, the taxi driver had no direct contact with Spencer and is not considered to be at risk.
Speaking Thursday night at a press conference at Bellevue, Mayor Bill de Blasio stressed that “being on the same subway car or living near a person with Ebola does not in itself put someone at risk.”
Out of an abundance of caution, however, the Brooklyn bowling alley has been closed temporarily while health workers visit it, and Spencer’s home has been sealed off, the Times said.
According to the Times, Spencer is a fellow of international emergency medicine at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, and an instructor in clinical medicine at Columbia University.
There was also some good news on the Ebola front. Both of the two nurses who fell ill with Ebola at a Dallas hospital have now been declared free of the virus. Nina Pham, 26, left the U.S. National Institutes of Health Clinical Center in Bethesda, Md., Friday and met with President Barack Obama at the White House before returning home.
And Amber Vinson, 29, has been declared Ebola-free after being cared for at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta. She will also return home soon, according to media reports.
Both nurses contracted Ebola after caring for Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian national who was the first case of Ebola diagnosed in the United States. Duncan died of the disease at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital on Oct. 8.
The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has so far killed nearly 4,900 people out of nearly 10,000 reported cases, according to the World Health Organization.
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SOURCES: Oct. 23/24, 2014, The New York Times