Monday, October 27, 2014

Ebola hits the Big Apple: patient tests positive in New York

On October 23, 2014, Doctor Craig Spencer tested positive for the Ebola, after being rushed to Bellevue Hospital in New York City. Dr. Spencer had been treating Ebola patients, working with Doctors Without Borders in Guinea. He returned to New York City on Oct. 14, 2014 and began to feel “sluggish” on October 21, 2014. Fatigue is one of the symptoms of Ebola.

He traveled from Manhattan to Brooklyn on the subway one day before being hospitalized, then went to a bowling alley and took a taxi home. The very next morning he reported having a temperature of 103 degrees, raising disturbing questions about the possibility of exposing others to the deadly virus. Sweat on the bowling ball might be of particular concern, as a bodily fluid through which Ebola can be transmitted.

Health care workers are now spread out across the city, tracing anyone who might have come into contact with Dr. Spencer in recent days.

The first case of Ebola in New York highlighted the difficulties surrounding containment of the virus in a crowded metropolis. The concrete jungle presents its own challenges. For example, the “disease detectives” would have a hard time locating people who might have come into contact with Dr. Spencer on the subway.