Ebola Reaches New York City; Patient Hospitalized
On Thursday evening, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio confirmed that a doctor had been admitted to Manhattan's Bellevue Hospital with Ebola. NPR is reporting that the doctor had returned to the United States on October 12 after working with Ebola patients in Guinea.
According to the CDC, the patient remains in isolation. Bellevue Hospital is one of eight New York State hospitals that Governor Andrew Cuomo has designated to treat Ebola patients. A specially trained CDC team determined earlier this week that the hospital has been trained in proper protocols and is well prepared to treat Ebola patients.
The patient only began exhibiting symptoms on Thursday morning. Since the virus only becomes contagious when infected people become symptomatic, this reduces the likelihood that he may have spread the infection.
According to New York City's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the patient was transported by a specially trained HAZ TAC unit wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). "The chances of the average New Yorker contracting Ebola are extremely slim," the official statement continued. "Ebola is spread by directly touching the bodily fluids of an infected person. You cannot be infected simply by being near someone who has Ebola."