(RxWiki News) A New York City doctor who recently returned from treating Ebola patients in West Africa tested positive for Ebola Thursday. Health officials placed the patient in isolation and began the search for people who might have come into contact with him.
Update (11/11/2014): The New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation announced Tuesday morning that Dr. Spencer is free of the Ebola virus and has been discharged from the hospital. Dr. Spencer's recovery means that there are no more Ebola patients currently being treated in the United States.
Update (11/10/2014): According to The New York Times, Dr. Craig Spencer is expected to be released from Bellevue Hospital Center on Tuesday morning. While at Bellevue, Dr. Spencer received a variety of available treatments, including an experimental medication and a blood transfusion from Nancy Writebol, a missionary who contracted Ebola in West Africa and returned to the United States where she recovered from the virus.
Update (11/3/2014): Hospital officials announced that Dr. Spencer's condition has been updated to "stable" from "serious but stable." Dr. Spencer will remain in isolation as he continues to receive treatment, according to the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation.
Update (10/27/2014): CNN reports that Dr. Craig Spencer was listed in serious but stable condition over the weekend. Spencer's fiancee, Morgan Dixon, has shown no symptoms and is no longer under quarantine at Bellevue Hospital.
Craig Spencer, 33, was taken to Bellevue Hospital in New York City on Thursday afternoon after he reported a fever and other symptoms of Ebola, according to a New York City health department statement. He later tested positive for the disease.
Health officials have placed at least three people Spencer might have had contact with in isolation, reports The New York Times. CNN reports that those people — his fiancee and two friends — had contact with him after he developed symptoms.
Spencer's Ebola diagnosis marks the fourth on US soil since the outbreak began in West Africa. He had recently returned from Guinea — one of the hardest hit countries in the outbreak, along with Liberia and Sierra Leone — where he was treating Ebola patients. Since his Oct. 17 return, he had been checking his temperature twice a day for signs of fever.
Fever is one of the early symptoms of Ebola virus disease — the disease caused by the Ebola virus. Other symptoms include nausea, vomiting and, later, unexplained bleeding. Patients are only contagious once they have symptoms. The disease can only be transferred through blood or other infected body fluids.
Officials said Spencer was transported to the hospital via a highly trained care unit.
"The chances of the average New Yorker contracting Ebola are extremely slim," according to the New York City health department statement.
Bellevue Hospital is one of eight treatment centers that are part of New York's Ebola preparedness plan. According to health officials, the center is prepared to handle an Ebola case.
Health workers will continue to trace Spencer's steps after he showed symptoms to find more potential contacts he might have had.