According to the New York City Health Department, a volunteer medical aid worker who served in Guinea has tested positive for Ebola since his return to the United States.
On October 17, the medical aid worker had returned through JFK Airport and went through the enhanced screening for all returning travelers from the three West African nations. During this time, he did not exhibit a fever or other symptoms of illness. A week later on October 23, the patient reported a fever to local health officials. The patient has been hospitalized since then and is still in isolation at Bellevue Hospital, one of the 8 New York State hospitals designated to treat patients with Ebola. The patient was transported by a specially trained HAZ TAC unit wearing Personal Protective Equipment to Bellevue. The New York City Health Department has interviewed the patient regarding close contacts and activities.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has deployed its Ebola Response Team to New York City. Also, the CDC’s Ebola hospital assessment teams were in New York City earlier this week to evaluate hospital readiness in receiving Ebola patients. The expert teams assess the hospital’s infection control readiness, identify any gaps in readiness, and support the development of an infection control plan.
Ebola is spread through direct contact with bodily fluids of a sick person or exposure to objects such as needles that have been contaminated. The illness has an average 8–10 day incubation period (although it could be from 2 to 21 days). CDC recommends monitoring exposed people for symptoms a complete 21 days.
For more information visit CDC.gov.