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New York on alert as doctor tests positive for Ebola

A New York doctor who recently returned from Ebola-hit Guinea in West Africa has tested positive for the disease, raising concern in one of the US’s most populous cities.
Dr Craig Spencer, who treated Ebola patients while working for the charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), came down with a fever on Thursday, days after his return, officials say.
Dr Spencer, 33, left Guinea on October 14, and returned to New York City on 17 October via Europe.
On Tuesday he began to feel tired and developed a fever and diarrhoea on Thursday. He immediately contacted medical services and was taken to the city’s Bellevue Hospital, where he is being kept in isolation.
Dr Spencer is said to have gone bowling and travelled on the subway before becoming unwell, but officials have played down the possibility of his having spread the virus. So far only his fiancée and two friends have been placed in quarantine.
At a news conference late on Thursday, they sought to ease fears of an outbreak in the densely populated city of 8.4 million people, saying officials had prepared for weeks for an Ebola case.
New York city mayor Bill de Blasio said: “There is no reason for New Yorkers to be alarmed. Ebola is an extremely hard disease to contract. New Yorkers who have not been exposed to an infected person’s bodily fluids are not at risk.”
President Barack Obama telephoned both the mayor and the governor to discuss the deployment of health officials and to offer “any additional federal support necessary”, the White House said.
More than 4,800 people have died of Ebola – mainly in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone – since March.
Credit: BBC

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