October 23, 2014

EBOLA IN NEW YORK CITY? Doctors Without Borders physician tested for Ebola in NYC. “The 33-year-old physician, employed at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, developed a fever, nausea, pain and fatigue Wednesday night, a law enforcement official briefed on the matter told CNN. On Thursday morning, he was taken to Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan for testing. The doctor, who returned from West Africa about 10 days ago, has been identified as Craig Spencer, according to law enforcement officials.”

UPDATE: Patient at New York City hospital tests positive for Ebola, reports say. “A doctor who treated Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus in New York City, according to multiple reports.” As someone says in the comments, shit just got real. Let’s hope he hasn’t infected anyone else in NYC.

And the wisdom of the doctor from Morristown, Tennessee who self-quarantined after returning from treating Ebola patients in Africa is quite clear now. I don’t think anyone who’s worked with Ebola patients should be out and about in the community until after a quarantine period.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Girlfriend now quarantined. Plus: “On his Facebook page, Spencer posted a photo of himself in protective gear. The page indicates he went to Guinea around September 18 and later to Brussels in mid October. . . . nvestigators took the case seriously from the outset because it appeared the doctor didn’t quarantine himself following his return, the law enforcement official said. The doctor traveled to Brooklyn and then back to Manhattan on Wednesday night, the official said. . . . The doctor began feeling sluggish a couple of days ago, but it wasn’t until Thursday, when he developed 103-degree fever, that he contacted Doctors Without Borders, authorities said.”

It seems quite clear that the public health people aren’t taking this disease seriously enough. Plus: “Mark Levine, a city councilman who represents the doctor’s Manhattan neighborhood, said earlier Thursday that city health department workers were canvassing the area, distributing information on the disease door-to-door, according to CNN affiliate WABC. ‘The goal right now is to make sure people don’t panic,’ he said.” Yeah, that’s been the goal all along. I suggest prioritizing this goal: Making sure people don’t get or spread Ebola. Yeah, crazy idea, I know.