DETAILS: What We Know About NYC Ebola Patient
A New York City doctor has been diagnosed with Ebola tonight.
A timeline of events:
- In mid-September, 33-year-old Dr. Craig Spencer was treating Ebola patients in Guinea as part of Doctors Without Borders.
- Spencer left Guinea on Oct. 14 and arrived at JFK Airport on Oct. 17. He began to feel sluggish on Tuesday but didn’t have a fever. Yesterday, he went for a jog, took three different subway trains, went to a Brooklyn bowling alley, then took an Uber cab home. He says he felt OK, except for some fatigue.
- Spencer reported he first had a fever at around 10 or 11 a.m. today. He reported the fever to Doctors Without Borders, and ambulance crews in hazmat suits then picked him up and took him to Bellevue Hospital.
- His fiancé and two close friends are now being quarantined.
Spencer reports that he does not believe his protective gear had been breached while treating patients, and he says he was monitoring his own health.
Spencer is the fourth American to be diagnosed with Ebola on U.S. soil.
READ MORE: Ebola stories from Fox News
Officials held a news conference tonight about the city's first case of Ebola.
“We’ve been preparing for months for the threat posed by Ebola,” Bill de Blasio said, explaining that Bellevue Hospital is especially equipped to handle this disease. He added that every New York City hospital is prepared to respond to an Ebola patient.
“Being on the same subway car or living near a person with Ebola does not in itself put someone at risk,” de Blasio said.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo then addressed the public.
“We can’t say this is an unexpected circumstance,” he said.
Cuomo said officials have been working night and day, coordinating city, state, and federal resources to prepare for Ebola.
“We are as ready as one could be for this circumstance” he said.
Ebola “can spread fear just by the sound of the word,” he said, but he stressed that it is not airborne and is basically contracted through bodily fluids.
“The more facts you know, the less frightening the situation this is,” he said.
Watch the full news conference below.
The CDC said in a statement:
A hospitalized medical aid worker who volunteered in Guinea, one of the three West African nations experiencing an Ebola epidemic, and since returned to the United States has tested positive for Ebola according to the New York City Health Department laboratory, which is part of the Laboratory Response Network overseen by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The patient has been notified of the test results and remains in isolation. The patient is currently at Bellevue Hospital in New York City. Bellevue Hospital is one of eight New York State hospitals that Governor Cuomo has designated to treat Ebola patients. A specially trained CDC team determined earlier this week that the hospital has been trained in proper protocols and is well prepared to treat Ebola patients.
Confirmation testing at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's laboratory will be done. The healthcare worker had returned through JFK Airport on Oct. 17 and participated in the enhanced screening for all returning travelers from these countries. He went through multiple layers of screening and did not have a fever or other symptoms of illness. The patient reported a fever to local health officials for the first time today. The patient was transported by a specially trained HAZ TAC unit wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to Bellevue. The New York City Health Department has interviewed the patient regarding close contacts and activities.
CDC is in close communications with the New York City Health Department and Bellevue Hospital, and is providing technical assistance and resources. Three members of CDC's Ebola Response Team will arrive in New York City tonight. This team is deployed when an Ebola case is identified in the United States, or when health officials have a very strong suspicion that a patient has Ebola pending lab results.
In a statement, Uber said:
We reviewed our records and were able to confirm that one of our driver partners in New York provided a ride to the patient yesterday evening. We immediately contacted the CDC and NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYC DOHMH), which stated that neither our driver partner nor any of his subsequent passengers are at risk. We have communicated this to the driver, and the NYC DOHMH medical team met with the driver in person, assuring him that he is not at risk. Our thoughts are with the patient and his loved ones.“There is no reason for New Yorkers to be alarmed,” Bill de Blasio said, adding that Ebola is “an extremely hard disease to contract.” De Blasio stressed that New York City has the strongest public health system and leading medical experts.