Dr. Craig Spencer, the New York man who tested positive for Ebola, is being released from Bellevue Hospital on Tuesday. While he is free of the virus, it’s expected that the unfortunate moniker “Ebola Doctor” will follow him around for the rest of his life.
Spencer, who had recently returned from Guinea after treating Ebola patients through Doctors Without Borders, was rushed to the New York public hospital on Oct. 23 after experiencing a fever. Within hours, a blood test confirmed he had Ebola.
Ebola is a life-threatening virus. However, while 70% of people in Africa who are infected with Ebola have died, reports the New York Times, “eight of the nine patients treated in the United States have survived.” The only patient who died, Liberian man Thomas Eric Duncan, suffered delays in treatment because he had originally been misdiagnosed. What this means is that with the proper infrastructure — which America fortunately has — Ebola is relatively easy to contain and is not a death sentence.
Yet, in Spencer’s wake, the city collectively lost its damn mind: The media charted Spencer’s every move, despite the fact that Ebola spreads only through contact with an infected person’s bodily fluids; Bellevue workers suffered discriminatory treatment, politicians debated mandatary quarantines — and some imposed them — for people coming from West Africa.
Mind you, no one else in New York has tested positive, and now the U.S. is officially Ebola-free. But after Spencer is back in the wild, who knows what could happen (well, nothing). EVERYBODY PANIC.
(Photo: Aymann Ismail/ANIMALNewYork)