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A patient in New York City has tested positive for Ebola

New York City police officers stand outside the apartment building of Dr. Craig Spencer, the New York City patient who has tested positive for Ebola
New York City police officers stand outside the apartment building of Dr. Craig Spencer, the New York City patient who has tested positive for Ebola
Bryan Thomas/Getty Images

Dr. Craig Spencer, a New York physician, has tested positive for Ebola.

Dr. Spencer recently returned from Guinea, where he was participating in the Ebola treatment effort with the aid group Doctors Without Borders. He is currently being treated in an isolation unit in Manhattan's Bellevue Hospital.

Spencer is New York's first case of Ebola. A hospital test confirmed today that he is infected with the virus, according to the New York Times. The CDC is conducting its own test to confirm the diagnosis.

Spencer was admitted to the hospital on Thursday October 23 with a 103-degree fever. Ebola patients do not become contagious until they are symptomatic.  In a press conference on Thursday evening, city officials said that Spencer had been monitoring his temperature, and had no symptoms until the day he was hospitalized.

Public health officials have already begun the process of tracing individuals who may have had contact with Spencer during the period when he may have been contagious. Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Thursday that "our understanding is that very few people were in direct contact with him," which would lessen the likelihood that he could have transmitted the virus to anyone in New York.

Spencer is the fourth patient to be diagnosed with Ebola in the United States. The previous three cases were all in Dallas. One of the Dallas patients, Thomas Eric Duncan, has died. The other two patients, both of whom are nurses who treated Duncan, remain hospitalized.

The current outbreak of Ebola is the worst the world has ever seen. Although there have been cases in six countries, the outbreak is concentrated in the West African nations of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. The disease has infected over 9,000 people, and killed nearly 5,000.

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