NEW YORK – State and Federal Health officials have confirmed that a New York physician who’s worked with Doctors Without Borders has tested positive for Ebola and is being treated at Bellevue Hospital in New York City – one of eight hospitals designated for treatment of Ebola in New York State.
Governor Andrew Cuomo, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and other officials held a news conference Thursday night providing more information on the case.
Health officials say Dr. Craig Spencer works with Doctors Without Borders and recently returned to New York City from West Africa, where he was working with Ebola patients in Guinea. The 33 year old physician returned more than a week ago but Thursday morning, he reported a fever and called health officials. He was taken to Bellevue Hospital and is now in an isolation unit.
Spencer is also a physician at New York Presbyterian, but did not return to work after his trip and did not see any patients.
Officials have identified three people who came in contact with Spencer during the relevant period of time and and they are now under quarantine.
ASTORINO CRITICAL OF STATE FOR FAILING TO PREVENT CASE
The Republican running against Gov. Cuomo in this year’s election says that the recent case of Dr. Craig Spencer being diagnosed with ebola in New York City was avoidable.
Westchester County executive and gubernatorial candidates Rob Astorino is accusing both President Obama and Gov. Cuomo of leaving JFK airport open to passengers arriving from Ebola-stricken nations – even though they knew the likelihood of an Ebola case arriving here was great. He said the two chose political correctness over public safety.
In recent weeks Astorino and other Republicans across the state – including local Senator Cathy Young of Olean – have been calling on both the president and governor to shut down JFK and Newark to potentially infected passengers as matter of common sense.
Astorino reiterated his request, saying that JFK must be shut down to passengers originating from Ebola designated nations.
Health officials have said that it would be extremely difficult to stop determine which passengers are coming from west Africa and entering the country via the New York City Airports because there is usually at least one connecting flight in Europe. Spencer came into New York from West Africa, via Brussels.