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Friday, October 24, 2014

Dr. Greg Spencer is another victim of the Ebola virus - another tragic consequence for the caregivers

Those calling for a travel ban on people arriving in the US from Ebola stricken areas of Africa can't be living in the real world. NewYork City physician Dr. Greg Spencer is now a victim of the Ebola virus, another care giver infected by the disease. Nothing would have prevented Dr. Spencer from returning to New York City and his home in Harlem. Travel bans simply aren't possible in the 21st century.

It's at least helpful for the public to read how New York City is quickly responding to this latest Ebola virus patient, with the state's Governor Cuomo making a leadership statement quoted in this article from The New York Post.

Ebola strikes NYC: Doctor tests positive for deadly virus
The New York Post reports:

New York has its first case of Ebola.

A Harlem doctor who recently treated patients in Africa tested positive for the deadly disease ­after he was rushed to Bellevue Hospital on Thursday morning with fatigue, nausea and a 103-degree fever. (This information was later modified, the temperature was really 100.3 F not 103 degrees.)

Dr. Craig Spencer, a 33-year-old Doctors Without Borders volunteer, and his live-in fiancée, Morgan Dixon, 30, were quarantined at Bellevue as investigators ­retraced the couple’s steps from the six days since the doctor returned from Guinea last Friday, the sources said. The Associated Press reported two of Spencer’s friends were also quarantined but had shown no symptoms of the virus.

Spencer’s West 147th Street apartment has been sealed, and two of Spencer’s friends have also self-quarantined in their homes, officials said.

And an Uber car-service driver who recently transported Spencer has self-quarantined as well, officials said.

At a press conference Thursday night, officials claimed that Spencer had mostly “stayed at home” since his return.

“We don’t want to give the impression he self-quarantined, but he did limit his contact,” claimed Dr. Mary Travis Bassett, head of the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

“He did attempt to self-isolate,” she told reporters.

Still, officials conceded that Spencer had also made numerous excursions around the city in the days before he was diagnosed.

That included riding the subway, walking the High Line, taking the Uber car and, on Wednesday night — even as he was already feeling fatigued, according to officials — taking a three-mile run and spending the evening bowling.

Spencer went to The Gutter, a popular Williamsburg bowling and music venue, sources said.  In fact, the bowling alley was shuttered Thursday night, and issued a statement saying: “We’ve been in constant contact with the Health Department and they have determined that there was no risk to our customers.”

Spencer rode the subway in the past five days, traveling on the A, L and 1 lines, a law-enforcement source told The Post.

Spencer's along the High Line also involved a meal at a nearby restaurant, sources said.

Spencer also visited Herald Square in his travels around town, sources added.

Spencer did not show up at his job at Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital, where he is a fellow in international emergency medicine, officials there assured.

But investigators weren’t taking any chances, and were at the hospital Thursday night to double check that he had no contact with patients or staff, sources said.

The NYPD’s Missing Persons Squad is pitching in, looking at Spencer’s Metro­Card, credit cards and bank statements to track all his travels and determine if any other locations need to be monitored, sources said.

Meanwhile, the federal Center s for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was rushing a special response team to Bellevue.

“We are as ready as one can be for this circumstance,” Gov. Cuomo assured New Yorkers Thursday night at the press conference.

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