New York City Ebola: Did Craig Spencer’s Reaction Stop Virus Spreading, Or Was He Reckless Leaving Apartment?

The Ebola virus has reached New York City, and as you can imagine, it has caused quite a stir.

Inhabitants of the bustling metropolis, which is the home to over eight million people, have understandably become a little bit concerned since Craig Spencer was diagnosed with the deadly virus. Ebola has so far taken more than 5,000 lives in West Africa.

People have now been looking for someone to blame for the potential outbreak of the virus that could turn New York City into a ticking time bomb of mortality. When it emerged that Spencer, who had volunteered as a doctor in the West African country of Guinea for the last few weeks, had left his apartment on several occasions since he returned to the country on October 17, fingers were pointed in his direction. Many feel he had jeopardized the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.

According to Forbes, Dr. Spencer went for a three-mile jog on Wednesday, before catching the A, L, and 1 trains. He also got an Uber car after visiting The Gutter, a bar with a bowling alley that is located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Social media soon exploded with rage, as users declared that he shouldn’t have left his apartment at all in his first 21 days back in the United States of America. This is the incubation time for the virus.

MSF, the organization that Spencer worked with while in Guinea, have insisted that he followed the correct protocol upon returning to the country. This included checking his temperature two times a day, finishing his regular course of malaria prophylaxis, being aware of his fever, staying within four hours of a hospital with isolation facilities, and immediately contacting MSF-USA if he developed symptoms.

When Spencer realized on Thursday that he had a fever, he contacted MSF and was moved to Bellevue hospital, where he was quarantined. Spencer was also only in close-contact with three or four other people, including his fiancee, during this time. New York’s mayor, Bill de Blasio, has insisted that there is no need to worry, as simply being on the subway with him wouldn’t lead to people catching the disease. He declared that it “is an extremely hard disease to contract.”

However, there are some people that will insist the current risk of Ebola that hangs over New York City was entirely avoidable, and that there are clearly lessons to be learned from Spencer. This could include giving healthcare workers a mandatory 21-day quarantine after they return from afflicted areas. But despite these understandable concerns, the situation is still under control at the moment. And there’s no need for panic to fully set in. Yet.

[Image via NDTV]