New York City doctor Craig Spencer tested positive for the Ebola virus on Thursday, according to the New York Times. Spencer recently returned to the city from a Doctors Without Borders trip to Guinea, where he worked with Ebola patients. This is the first case of Ebola in New York City and the fourth confirmed case in the United States.
Spencer, 33, began showing Ebola symptoms, including a fever of 103 degrees and gastrointestinal issues, Thursday morning and was immediately put in isolation at Bellevue Hospital, the city’s designated hospital for any cases of the virus.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) dispatched an Ebola response team to New York City and is expected to conduct an additional test to confirm Thursday’s results, according to the Associated Press.
Although Ebola is not contagious unless the person is symptomatic, the New York City Department of Health is investigating the possibility that Spencer could have spread the virus and infected others around the city. Spencer returned from Guinea over a week ago and did not have any symptoms until Thursday, the AP reported. Spencer’s fiancée has also been placed in a quarantine ward at the hospital, but she has not shown any Ebola symptoms.
“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,” according to a statement from the NYC Health Department released Thursday.
Spencer traveled from Manhattan to Brooklyn using the subway Wednesday night, according to the New York Times. Spencer went to a bowling alley in Williamsburg and then took the car service Uber back to his apartment in upper Manhattan.
“Our understanding is that very few people were in direct contact with him,” Mayor Bill De Blasio said in a press conference earlier in the day before test results were confirmed.