A New York doctor who recently returned from Guinea tested positive for Ebola on Thursday becoming the fourth case yet in the United States. The others were in Texas.
Craig Spencer, 33, was treating Ebola patients in Guinea, one of three west African nations hit the hardest by the outbreak. He returned to the US on October 14.
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”.
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 United States 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 two were nurses who were part of the team that was treating Smith, raising serious concerns about the safety of health professionals treating Ebola patients.
Police officers guard the building on Thursday where Dr. Craig Spencer lives in New York. Spencer, who worked in West Africa with Ebola patients, tested positive for Ebola and was in isolation at Bellevue Hospital. Reuters
The United States has started screening travelers from Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, the three worst hit countries, at five designated international airports.
But pressure is mounting on Obama administration to ban travel to and from these countries completely, something that has not found much traction with experts yet.
A man mops the lobby of 546 W. 147th street, the apartment building of Dr. Craig Spencer, on Thursday in New York City. AFP
Spencer, who was working among Ebola patients with Doctors without Boundary in Guinea, arrived in the United States on October 14, coming in through Europe.
He began displaying symptoms on Thursday — high fever and gastrointestinal problems. Though he tested positive for Ebola at a local lab, CDC is conducting another test to confirm it.
There have been nine cases of Ebola seen in the United States since the beginning of August.
Watch:Doctor confirmed as first Ebola case in New York quarantined