© 2018 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
Ebola Scare Hits New York, As American Victim Returns Home
A patient admitted to a New York City hospital with a high fever and gastrointestinal symptoms is being tested for Ebola.
The man, who has not been identified, is at least the second person tested for possible Ebola in the last week in the city. Last Wednesday, a patient was admitted into Bellevue Hospital and “immediately isolated with consideration for Ebola virus,” the city’s Health and Hospitals Corp said.
The new patient was said to have recently traveled to a country in West Africa where Ebola has been reported and he is now placed in strict isolation, while doctors are working to determine the cause of his symptoms.
They expect to get test results back in a day or two.
However, the chief medical officer of Mount Sinai Health System, Jeremy Boal, said “Odds are this is not Ebola. It’s much more likely that it’s a much more common condition.”
Boal said there was no threat to anyone else in the hospital because of the rapid response from medical workers who had been alerted to the Ebola outbreak ravaging West Africa and trained on how to respond.
Meanwhile, an American missionary, Nancy Writebol, suffering from Ebola is expected to arrive in Atlanta From Liberia on Tuesday aboard an air ambulance equipped with an isolation. she contracted the deadly virus while working in that country.
Writebol will then be flown to the same hospital where her colleague, Kent Brantly, a medical doctor is also undergoing treatment for the virus and is said to be improving.
Writebol and Brantly served on the same medical mission team that was treating Ebola patients in Liberia.
Brantly arrived on Saturday under the same protocol, flying from West Africa to Dobbins Air Reserve base outside Atlanta in a small plane equipped to contain infectious diseases.
Symptoms of Ebola, which has killed hundreds of people in three West African countries since March, can be similar to influenza, malaria and other ailments that do not require isolation; hence, U.S. hospitals have been advised to isolate and test anyone who shows up with the symptoms just to be sure.
In the meantime, the World Bank has announced that it is allocating $200m in emergency assistance to help West African countries contain the Ebola outbreak.
The money will be distributed to the governments of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea as well as to the World Health Organization, WHO.
As at the last count, The number of people killed in the outbreak has reached 887, the WHO says.
The World Bank’s announcement came as African leaders including 35 presidents discuss the crisis in Washington.
The World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, an expert on infectious diseases, said that he was “deeply saddened” by the spread of the virus and how it was contributing to the breakdown of “already weak health systems in the three countries”.