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New York doctor Craig Spencer has Ebola

Police officers stand outside the apartment of Dr. Craig Spencer, who tested positive for Ebola in New York.

Police officers stand outside the apartment of Dr. Craig Spencer, who tested positive for Ebola in New York.

Craig Spencer (33), a doctor with Médecins Sans Frontières who recently returned from Ebola-ravaged West Africa, has become the fourth individual to test positive for the deadly virus in the U.S., with authorities announcing that he was placed in isolation at Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan after reporting a 103 degrees Fahrenheit fever, diarrhoea and nausea.

Dr. Spencer’s quarantine came on the heels of a growing controversy surrounding whether he had taken the appropriate steps in the protocol for self-isolation or not, with health officials admitting that he had spent seven days in New York before being diagnosed, during which time he rode three subway lines, took an Uber taxi, visited a park and attended a bowling party with friends.

However since the doctor was not exhibiting symptoms at the time, except for fatigue, authorities said that he was not likely to have put anyone in danger given that Ebola could not spread if symptoms were not present.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo sought to reassure the public about the low risk of an outbreak at a press conference on Thursday when he said, “I know the word Ebola right now can spread fear just by the sound of the word… Ebola is not an airborne illness, it is contracted when a person is extremely ill and symptomatic.”

Governor Cuomo added, “New York is a dense place, a lot of people are on top of each other. But the more facts you know, the less frightening the situation is.”

Yet officials did not appear to be taking chances and said that Dr. Spencer’s fiancée, Morgan Dixon, and two friends had also been quarantined, and the taxi driver who had ferried him across the city “was not considered to be at risk.”

The latest Ebola case in the U.S. comes days after President Barack Obama announced a more aggressive strategy towards tackling the crisis, including the formation of a rapid-deployment ‘Ebola Team’ comprising medical specialists.

Further the administration has begun to implement a more rigorous screening procedure for passengers from at-risk nations disembarking in the U.S., measures that have been put in place following the order that only five designated airports across the country would accept passengers from the most-affected countries nations of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.


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Printable version | Jul 6, 2022 1:46:12 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/world/New-York-doctor-Craig-Spencer-has-Ebola/article60382704.ece