Radio Sandwell News

US ebola-free as patient recovers from virus

2014-11-11 08:08:12

Craig Spencer

The only Ebola patient being treated in the United States has been cleared of the deadly virus.

Health officials say Craig Spencer, a New York City emergency room doctor, is scheduled to be released from the hospital following his recovery.

Mayor Bill de Blasio labelled the 33-year-old a "real hero", saying he had suffered a lot over recent weeks but had "come back really strong".

"I'm sure he's a little weakened from the experience, (but he is) very, very healthy," he said.

Ebola is not airborne and can only be spread through direct contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person who is showing symptoms.

Craig Spencer

But news of Mr Spencer's infection left many New Yorkers alarmed. particularly it emerged that he rode the subway, dined in a restaurant and visited a bowling alley in the days before he developed a fever and tested positive.

In response, a mandatory 21-day quarantine for travellers who have come in close contact with Ebola patients was announced.

Mr Spencer tested positive for the virus on 23 October just days after returning from treating patients in Guinea with Doctors Without Borders.

He has been treated in a specially designed isolation unit at Manhattan's Bellevue Hospital, a designated Ebola treatment centre.

His condition was upgraded from serious to stable last week.

The Ebola epidemic in West Africa has killed around 5,000 people, but only a handful have been diagnosed or treated in the US.

Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft and one of the world's most generous philanthropists, told Sky News the Ebola crisis needs to be a top priority.

"Because it's really shut down the health systems in these countries and if we don't stop this epidemic it will spread to many other countries and their health systems will shut down," he said.

"We're seeing some progress. The generosity of the UK public is very appropriate.

"There's a number of tools that could help us; various drugs, the vaccines being fast-tracked.

"But just simply isolating people early in their sickness, it looks like in Liberia has helped those numbers, and if we can just get that in (Sierra Leone and Guinea) that alone could start moving the numbers in the right direction."

Source: news.sky.com

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