New York City Ebola Patient Dr. Craig Spencer To Be Released From Hospital
Craig Spencer, the New York City physician who was diagnosed with Ebola roughly a week after returning from a stint volunteering for Doctors Without Borders in west Africa, will be released from the hospital tomorrow, become the latest American Ebola patient to be cured of the disease:
Craig Spencer, the New York City doctor who became the first person in the city to test positive for Ebola, is being released from Bellevue Hospital Center on Tuesday morning, people familiar with his treatment said on Monday.
Dr. Spencer, 33, who had been in Guinea treating Ebola patients with Doctors Without Borders, was rushed to Bellevue by ambulance on Oct. 23 after reporting a fever of 100.3 to the authorities that morning. He was placed in isolation in a secure ward, and within hours a blood test had confirmed that he had the virus.
His infection set the city on edge and set off a race to find his contacts over the previous few days, when he went bowling, dined out and rode on the subway and in an Uber taxi.
His release 19 days later adds to the evidence that when treated in advanced American hospitals, Ebola has a lower fatality rate than in West African field hospitals starved of doctors, nurses and equipment.
The plan to release Dr. Spencer has not been publicly announced but was confirmed on Monday by two people familiar with his treatment, but who declined to be identified because they did not have permission to release the information. A spokeswoman for Bellevue did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Dr. Spencer was given every treatment available, including an experimental drug and blood plasma donated by a recovered Ebola patient, Nancy Writebol, a 59-year-old missionary who contracted the virus in Liberia.
His condition was serious at first, but by last week, he had asked for his banjo and exercise bicycle, the first signs that he was on the way to being released.
The people who had contact with Dr. Spencer, and who have treated him for the past 19 days will obviously remain under monitoring for the next three weeks or so to ensure they do not develop signs of the disease. On the whole though, this is another piece of good news in the Ebola fight here in the United States and means that, as of now, there is not a single active case of Ebola in the United States for the first time since Timothy Eric Duncan was diagnosed at the end of September. Hopefully, enhance treatments, screening, monitoring and other protocols will mean that this is the last one, but of course we cannot be assured of that completely until the disease is brought under control at the source in west Africa.