The Slatest

New York City Doctor Who Recently Returned From Guinea Tests Positive for Ebola

Update: 10:28 p.m.: Press Conference with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Travis Bassett via CBS New York:

At the news conference, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said officials believe Spencer came in contact with four people during the time he was infected and symptomatic, and state officials are already talking to those four people. Those four people include Spencer’s fiancée and two friends – all of whom are healthy, but have still been quarantined, New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Travis Bassett said. The fourth person is who is in contact with the state is the driver of an Uber car, which Spencer took when he bowling Wednesday night in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Bassett said. The Uber driver had no direct contact with Spencer, and is not believed to be in any danger, she said.

New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Travis Bassett said Spencer left Guinea on Oct. 14, and returned to the U.S. three days later. He went through mandatory Ebola screening processes upon arriving at John F. Kennedy International Airport, officials said.

Bassett went on a three-mile jog before being hospitalized, and has used the subway system, Bassett said. He has ridden on the A Train, the No. 1 Train and the L Train. Bassett added that Spencer had no fever when he was at The Gutter bowling alley at 200 North 14th St. in Brooklyn on Wednesday night. But The Gutter was closed as a result Thursday night, and a CMJ music show planned for the venue was canceled…

“He did attempt to self-isolate and we’re still getting clear the amount of time he spent outside of his apartment,” said Dr. Mary Travis Bassett, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Health. “But our impression is that he spent most of his time in his apartment and he was taking his temperature twice a day, he was being mindful about contact with people.”

But Spencer was not shutting himself off, Bassett said.

“During the time that he was leaving his apartment he had no fever. He was monitoring his temperature twice a day, as has been recommended and he had no fever,” she said. “I don’t want to give the impression he was self-quarantining because he did leave his apartment.”

Original Post: A New York City doctor who recently returned from Guinea tested positive for Ebola on Thursday evening. Craig Spencer was taken to Bellevue Hospital and put in isolation after reporting symptoms of the virus Thursday morning. Spencer had been working with Doctors Without Borders in Guinea until Oct. 14 and arrived in New York City on Oct. 17.

Spencer began to feel “sluggish” on Tuesday, but told authorities he didn’t develop a fever until Thursday morning. By 11 a.m. on Thursday, Spencer’s fever was at 103 degrees, an official told the Times. While health officials work to treat Spencer, city officials have been piecing together a timeline of the doctor’s recent interactions.

“As a further precaution, beginning today, the Health Department’s team of disease detectives immediately began to actively trace all of the patient’s contacts to identify anyone who may be at potential risk,” New York City’s health department said in a statement Thursday afternoon. “The Health Department staff has established protocols to identify, notify, and, if necessary, quarantine any contacts of Ebola cases.”

“[Spencer] traveled from Manhattan to Brooklyn on the subway on Wednesday night, when he went to a bowling alley and then took a taxi home,” according to the Times. “A person infected with Ebola cannot spread the disease until they begin to display symptoms, and it cannot be spread through the air. As the person becomes sicker, the viral load in the body builds, and they become more and more contagious.” On Thursday afternoon, “Spencer’s apartment in Manhattan’s Harlem neighborhood was sealed off but the rest of the six-story brick building remained open to residents, health officials said,” according to Reuters.

“In a statement, New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center said that Spencer was part of its staff and that he had not been to work at the hospital since returning to the U.S.,” NBC News reports.

*This post has been updated.