Another case of Ebola has reared its ugly head, this time in the Big Apple. The patient, Craig Spencer, is a physician who was providing medical care in West Africa.
According to the New York Times, Spencer “was rushed to Bellevue Hospital on Thursday and placed in isolation while health care workers spread out across the city to trace anyone he might have come into contact with in recent days. A further test will be conducted by the federal Centers for Disease Control to confirm the initial test.”
As to whom “he might have come into contact with,” Spencer has been busy, busy since returning to the city:
[H]e traveled from Manhattan to Brooklyn on the subway on Wednesday night, when he went to a bowling alley and then took a taxi home.
The next morning, he reported having a temperature of 103 degrees, raising questions about his health while he was out in public.
In a press conference that began around 9:50 p.m. on Thursday, CDC director Thomas Frieden said, as he has numerous times since the Ebola crisis arose, that the disease “is very hard to catch.”
That may well be, but close contact is a given in a city as crowded as New York. Mayor Bill de Blasio assured viewers of the news conference that authorities have already contacted the four people Spencer was in close contact with, but what about the people on the subway or at the bowling alley? The questions are just beginning. Let’s hope an epidemic isn’t.