The first case of Ebola in New York City has been reported tonight (October 23), according to The New York Times. Doctor Craig Spencer, who was treating patients of the disease in Guinea and recently returned to New York, has tested positive for the virus. Spencer was working with the organization Doctors Without Borders before he returned to New York City a few days ago on October 14.
Spencer took the subway from Manhattan to Brooklyn on Wednesday night (October 22), where he reportedly spent the evening at a bowling alley called The Gutter, and then returned to his apartment in Harlem via a taxi or the ride-sharing service Uber. Previous reports that he went to Brooklyn Bowl, a music venue and bowling alley in Williamsburg, have been confirmed as incorrect.
He awoke with a fever of 103 degrees and contacted authorities about his condition and was subsequently rushed to Bellevue Hospital Center where he was placed in isolation. Health officials have also sealed off his Harlem apartment and deployed what they call "disease detectives" to "to actively trace all of the patient’s contacts to identify anyone who may be at potential risk."
In the official statement, the department went on to say that they are doing everything in their power to quarantine any other possible cases of the virus.
"The Health Department staff has established protocols to identify, notify, and, if necessary, quarantine any contacts of Ebola cases," the statement said. "The Health Department is also working closely with HHC leadership, Bellevue's clinical team and the New York State Department of Health to ensure that all staff caring for the patient do so while following the utmost safety guidelines and protocols."
This is the first case of Ebola diagnosed in New York City, although officials have been anticipating isolated cases to appear, and have been preparing for it accordingly. Experts have also been issuing continuous reminders that it is extremely unlikely the average person will catch the virus. It is only spread through contact with bodily fluids of an affected individual and is not spread through casual contact.