New York on alert over first Ebola case

  • Yashwant Raj, Hindustan Times, Washington
  • Updated: Oct 25, 2014 01:41 IST

A New York doctor who recently returned from Guinea tested positive for Ebola on Thursday becoming the fourth case yet in the United States. Craig Spencer, 33, was treating Ebola patients in Guinea, one of three west African nations hit the hardest by the outbreak.

He has been put in an isolation chamber at Bellevue Hospital, one of the health facilities designated for treating Ebola cases for all of New York state and the city.

New York city health authorities also dispatched disease detectives “to actively trace all of the patient’s contacts to identify anyone who may be at potential risk”. President Barack Obama also held meetings to discuss measures being taken in view of the case.

Spencer’s fiancee has been put under observation in an isolation chamber at the same facility, and local media reports said authorities were in touch with his friends.

The US has had four cases of Ebola so far — the first three were all in Texas, starting with Thomas Duncan, a Liberian man who died because of delayed medical attention. The other were nurses who were part of the team that was treating Duncan.

The US has started screening travelers from Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia but pressure is mounting on Obama administration to ban travel to and from these countries completely.

Spencer, who was working with Doctors without Borders, arrived on October 14. Though he tested positive for Ebola, CDC was conducting another test to confirm it.

Read: Indian-American doctor at helm of Ebola response team

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