Dr. Craig Spencer was diagnosed with Ebola in New York City on October 23rd. He has now been released from isolation, and is free from Ebola. This also means there is no one in the United States that has Ebola. Nevertheless, after Dr. Spencer was diagnosed, it caused panic throughout the places he visited and set off a politicians enforcing quarantines without consulting proper experts. Here are some facts of his travels.
Dr. Spencer had been treating Ebola patients in Guinea (a West African Nation) with an organization called “Doctors without Borders.” He completed his work on October 12th.
He traveled out of Guinea on October 14th through Europe (there are no direct commercial flights from Guinea to the United States).
Dr. Spencer arrived in New York on October 17th and felt fine, without symptoms.
Dr. Spencer took his temperature twice a day. He felt “sluggish” on Tuesday, October 21st but did not have a fever. On Thursday, October 23 he developed a temperature of 100.3 degrees and called the staff at Doctors without Borders, and remained confined to his home until the city health workers, wearing CDC-approved protective gear, arrived and transported him to Bellevue Hospital.
Bellevue Hospital has been designated as one of the nation’s hospitals ready for Ebola patients, and Dr. Spencer was placed in the isolation unit. He is now free.
Dr. Spencer is an instructor in medicine at Columbia University who put out a statement saying that Dr. Spencer, “..is a committed and responsible physician who always puts his patients first.”
New York officials have been re-tracing his steps and have quarantined his fiancee at Bellevue, as well as two other friends. None of those three have shown symptoms of Ebola. Using his credit card statements as well as his memory they have retraced his steps. A bowling alley where he was has been closed, and a concert that had been scheduled there was canceled. The Uber driver is not considered at risk. His apartment was sealed off and health officials distributed information to neighbors.
Ebola is transmitted when patients are symptomatic – and he did not develop a fever until Thursday. He felt sluggish on Tuesday, and limited his travel. His fiancee is quarantined as Ebola is transmitted through body fluids including semen.
There have been 18 cases treated outside of West Africa. Of those 18 cases four have died and sixteen have recovered. As with most diseases -having treatment in a country with great medicine is better than in Africa.
To prevent further Ebola we need to rapidly send supplies and people to the western African nations. That will stop this epidemic.
Dr. Terry Simpson
Dr. Terry Simpson received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Chicago where he spent several years in the Kovler Viral Oncology laboratories doing genetic engineering. He found he liked people more than petri dishes, and received his MD. Dr. Simpson, a renowned weight loss surgeon, is a leading advocate of culinary medicine. A frequent contributor to media outlets discussing health related topics and advances in medicine, he is also a proud dad, husband, author, cook, and surgeon “in that order.” For media inquiries, please visit www.terrysimpson.com.