Craig Spencer, 33, a New York doctor who recently returned from Ebola stricken West Africa has contracted Ebola. Before his symptoms became apparent, Spencer made several trips on the subway, as well as visiting a bowling alley and taking a taxi.
The doctor lives in Harlem.
When the doctor noticed his symptoms, he contacted Doctors Without Borders who then contacted the New York Health department who arranged to have Spencer safely transported to Bellevue Hospital, which is a designated hospital for Ebola patients.
Spencer had a fever of 100.3F (38C.)
A preliminary test indicated that Spencer did have Ebola, and the CDC (Center for Disease Control) has sent a team to New York to carry out further tests to confirm the preliminary findings.
A press conference at Bellevue Hospital confirmed that they were monitoring his fiancée, two friends, and a taxi driver who they believe is at a low risk of contracting Ebola.
Although the illness has proven itself to be deadly in many cases, it isn’t an airborne illness. So, even though Spencer may have had contact with a considerable number of people on the subway, and in the bowling alley, the chances of any of those people contracting the illness are low. The only way to contract Ebola is by coming into contact with body fluids of an infected individual.
The New York State Governor attempted to quell fears of the virus spreading by saying, “Ebola is not an airborne illness, it is contracted when a person is extremely ill and symptomatic.”
Another thing to keep in mind, in West Africa, where the virus has taken hold, they don’t have well equipped facilities to deal with such an illness. A nation such as the United States is very well equipped to handle such an illness, as the nurse in Texas who has now been cleared of the virus proves. The chances of surviving the illness in a developed nation are much higher. It is also easier to contain the illness in a developed nation such as the US.
Today’s modern air travel has connected the world. Nothing seems all that far away anymore, but modern air travel also makes it easier for illnesses such as Ebola to spread throughout the world. Although doctors returning from West Africa may potentially bring the illness with them, they do know what to watch for, and what to do in the event they notice any Ebola symptoms. What’s going to pose more of a potential risk are other travellers from nations stricken with Ebola who may not know what to look for, or what to do in the event that they do realize they may have Ebola.
Those flying into the US from Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia, will be monitored for Ebola for 21 days after arriving in the United States beginning Monday, which should be an effective way to deal with the issue above.