NYC Doctor Tests Positive For Ebola, Officials Quell Panic

A Doctors Without Borders physician who recently returned to New York City has been diagnosed with Ebola. Officials are now working to quell panic.

NYC Doctor Tests Positive For Ebola, Officials Quell Panic
LinkedIn / Craig Spencer

A physician working with the Doctors Without Borders organization in West Africa recently returned to New York and has now been diagnosed with Ebola. 

According to CNN, Dr. Craig Spencer returned to New York 10 days ago. On Wednesday night he began experiencing symptoms associated with the deadly disease — fever, nausea, pain, and fatigue. 

Doctor Spencer was reportedly tested for Ebola at New York's Bellevue Hospital, and as of Thursday morning is being held in isolation there.

USA Today reports health officials are now attempting to retrace his steps to determine if anyone is at risk. The outlet notes Dr. Spencer worked at New York Presbyterian Hospital, but adds he had not returned to work or "seen any patients" since he came back from West Africa.

This case marks the first official Ebola diagnosis in New York City — but it's something health officials say they've been preparing for.

Bellevue Hospital is New York's primary treatment center for Ebola. The Chief Medical Officer of New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation is quoted in The New York Post as saying, "We are prepared. We have the personnel, the equipment and the expertise to manage. We have what is required to manage Ebola."

Still, as The New York Times notes, Dr. Spencer took the subway from Manhattan to Brooklyn, visited a bowling alley and traveled in a taxi on Wednesday night. And It's movements like this that reveal "the challenges surrounding containment of the virus, especially in a crowded metropolis."

Now, officials appear to be doing their best to quell panic surrounding the deadly disease.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Cuomo held a news conference Thursday where they reminded the public how difficult it is to contract Ebola, and detailed the city's preparations for dealing wit the disease.

MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO: "Ebola is an extremely hard disease to contract. It is transmitted only through contact with an infected person's blood or other bodily fluids — not through casual contact."
GOVERNOR CUOMO: "We have had a full, coordinated effort that has been working literally night and day ... so we are as ready as one could be for this circumstance."

Governor Cuomo says officials are investigating four individuals who are believed to have come in contact with Dr. Spencer before he was admitted to the hospital.

This video includes images from Getty Images.