A Harlem doctor who treated Ebola patients in West Africa before returning to New York last week tested positive Thursday for the deadly disease — the first such diagnosis in the city.
Dr. Craig Spencer, 33, was hauled to Bellevue Hospital in a protective suit with symptoms of the illness. Officials said his temperature was normal when he landed at Kennedy Airport a week ago, on Oct. 17. But it spiked to 103 degrees by early Thursday, and he had diarrhea.
Three others — Spencer’s fiancée and two friends — have also been quarantined but have shown no symptoms, according to Dr. Mary Travis Bassett, commissioner of the city’s Health Department.
The Ebola Virus has been a huge epidemic since Thomas Eric Duncan was fist diagnosed in Dallas before dying of the disease a short while later.
FDNY hazardous-materials specialists sealed off Spencer’s apartment on W. 147th St. in Harlem’s Hamilton Heights and took the doctor out on a stretcher.
Spencer’s test results were publicly released about 8:30 p.m.
He is if the first patient diagnosed with Ebola in the New York Area
But at 6:20 p.m., the city Health Department sent out an urgent request to all New York area hospitals to see if any had “the following drug: Brincidofovir made by Chimerix.”
The drug is investigational and one medical source told the Daily News it was used successfully in treating at least one Ebola patient in the U.S.
Spencer was working with Doctors Without Borders in Guinea. His path back to the city included a stop in Brussels, sources said.
A Bellevue employee told The News that Spencer was in one of four infectious disease rooms at the hospital. Bellevue itself is one of eight hospitals in the state that’s designated to receive Ebola patients.
“He didn’t come through the ER,” the hospital worker said. “He went straight to a quarantine room via the elevator.”