Doctor Back from Africa Tests Positive for Ebola at New York Hospital

World | October 24, 2014, Friday // 07:44|  views

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (R) speaks, as New York Mayor Bill de Blasio listens, during a press conference on the status of Ebola patient Craig Spencer, at Bellevue Hospital in New York, 23 October 2014. Photo EPA/BGNES

A doctor who had worked in West Africa has tested positive for Ebola at New York City hospital on 23 October.

Officials told a news conference that Craig Spencer, 33, was admitted to Bellevue Hospital with symptoms consistent with those caused by Ebola. According to the results of a preliminary test Spencer has the virus.

The physician, who had been treating patients with Ebola while working with charity Doctors Without Bordersin Africa, arrived back in New York City from Guinea on 17 October via Europe.

He travelled on the New York subway, visited a park and took a taxi in the past week before displaying symptoms of the deadly disease. The recent Ebola outbreak has killed more than 4,500 people in West Africa since March, mainly in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. 

Medical authorities in New York had quarantined Spencer’s fianc?e and two friends. Spencer, who left Guinea on 14 October, is the first person to test positive for Ebola in New York City and the fourth in the United States.

According to officials, the chances of contracting the disease just by being near someone who has Ebola are slim because the virus is spread through direct contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio told a news conference that "there is no reason for New Yorkers to be alarmed".

"Ebola is an extremely hard disease to contract. New Yorkers who have not been exposed to an infected person's bodily fluids are not at risk," de Blasio said.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the Spencer case wasn't "an unexpected circumstance."

"Ebola right now can spread fear just by the sound of the word," Cuomo said at the news conference. "But the more facts you know the less frightening the situation is."

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Tags: New York, Ebola, Spencer, West Africa


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