Doctor back from West Africa gets Ebola test in New York – Metro US

Doctor back from West Africa gets Ebola test in New York

Doctor back from West Africa gets Ebola test in New York
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A doctor who recently returned from West Africa is being tested for Ebola at Bellevue Hospital.

Craig Spencer, who lives on 147th Street in West Harlem, recently returned from a Doctors Without Borders trip, according to the organization.

The health department said shortly after 3 p.m. Thursday that they were testing a patient who was experiencing a fever and gastrointestinal symptoms. They said Spencer recently returned to the U.S. from a West African country with an Ebola outbreak during the past 21 days.

A emergency team wearing protective gear transported the doctor to Bellevue Hospital, which was previously designated for any potential Ebola patients.

An Ebola test is being conducted, and results are expected back late Thursday or early Friday morning. Physicians are also testing Spencer for other illnesses, such as salmonella, malaria or stomach flu.

Mayor Bill de Blasio stressed Thursday that emergency responders and Spencer followed “careful protocols.”

“The important thing to remember until we have full information is we can’t draw conclusions,” de Blasio said.

De Blasio said very few people have come in contact with the doctor, who has been “precise” with investigating officials on whom he has been in contact with. De Blasio said a decision hasn’t been made on whether to quaratine any other people.

State and federal teams are en route, according to Council Member Mark Levine’s office, and officials are working to identify who Spencer has come in contact with since returning from West Africa. The case is being treated as if a confirmed Ebola case, according to Levine’s office.

Levine is urging New Yorkers to call 311 if they think they might have been in contact with Spencer, or for more information on the virus.

A health department release said: “The chances of the average New Yorker contracting Ebola are extremely slim. 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.”

According to Spencer’s LinkedIn page, he is a fellow of international emergency medicine at Columbia University.