Ebola in New York

Keep Calm New Yorkers, It’s Just Ebola

New York Officials are urging its citizens to stay calm after the news of a doctor who recently worked with Ebola patients in Guinea tested positive for the Ebola virus. New Yorkers are hysterical.

And who could blame them? More than 4,800 persons have died as a result of the current Ebola outbreak. But the majority of Ebola deaths occurred in Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone, where the Ebola infection originated. The Ebola case in New York is only the fifth confirmed case of Ebola in the United States, the second of which has been imported from West Africa, according to the International Business Times.

What is worrying about this case of Ebola for New Yorkers is that since the doctor’s return, he has been involved in a whole host of activities, including taking public transportation and going bowling the night before he fell ill, as the Inquisitr reported.

A CBN News report has the NYC’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Commissioner, Dr. Mary Travis Bassett, as stating that persons should not be worried about contracting Ebola, because Spencer was not contagious. Ebola is not considered to be contagious until the onset of symptoms, but all statements of the Ebola virus apparently being a non-threat to American citizens (especially those who’ve had no contact with Spencer) has flown over the heads of many.

“Friday morning, a group of teenage girls in Catholic school uniforms riding the L subway train passed around a bottle of hand sanitizer. They said they were taking extra precautions because of the Ebola case. It was one of the subway lines the doctor rode after returning home.”

Dr. Spencer is the second doctor to have brought Ebola to the U.S after helping to treat Ebola patients in West Africa. The first doctor, Dr. Duncan, died as a result of the Ebola infection in Texas. Like Duncan, Dr. Spencer has come under scrutiny for his decision to “put Americans at risk” of Ebola by venturing out knowing he dealt with Ebola patients recently. One of these attacks comes from Howard Markel of News Republic in his article titled, “Young Doctors Can Be Courageous, They Can Also Be Careless.”

“I do not know Dr. Spencer and I am in no position to condemn or reprimand him. But I am not all that surprised that he went bowling despite being advised to stay home. I’ve been a physician for well over a quarter of a century and have taught in a medical school for more than 20 years. Consequently, I do know many doctors and the strange thoughts that swirl around in our heads. The question that is keeping me awake Thursday night is not the fear that Ebola will overtake New York City (it won’t) but, instead, what is it about Dr. Spencer’s psyche that would facilitate taking such a risk to oneself and to others?”

Forbes reports that Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) the medical organization with which Spencer was on his Ebola aid has made it explicitly clear that Craig Spencer in no way disobeyed protocol set for Ebola health workers. Medical professionals that have cared for Ebola patients are not required to isolate themselves upon return. Instead, Ebola healthcare workers are given a list of procedures to follow.

One of the rules: “Immediately contact the MSF-USA office if any relevant symptoms develop.”

Dr. Spencer, New York’s first Ebola patient, has been taken to Bellevue Hospital, one of the hospitals in the city considered to be Ebola-ready.

[Image via wn.com]

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