New York's Ebola Patient Probably Doesn't Have Ebola After All
It looks like reports that the Ebola virus had reached New York City are most likely incorrect. The patient in question was an American who just returned home from West Africa, which is experiencing the worst Ebola outbreak in history. Early Monday, he was undergoing testing for the virus at Mount Sinai Hospital in “strict isolation," but the New York Health Department has now determined that he's "unlikely" to have the virus, as he displayed none of the known risk factors. Whew.
An American doctor infected with Ebola in Liberia landed in Atlanta, Georgia over the weekend for advanced treatment, and a missionary working in the same country will follow in his footsteps on Tuesday morning.
The good news here is that, according to the Centers for Disease Control, we don’t have anything to worry about. Sensing, accurately, that Americans would immediately start freaking out when work leaked of an Ebola patient in New York, the Centers for Disease Control reminded everybody on its Facebook page that the virus itself is actually very difficult to contract, and stated flatly that “Ebola poses no significant risk in the United States.” So, for the time being, you can breathe easy.
That said, Ebola is still a lethal virus with no vaccine or licensed treatment, so we won’t be breathing too easily any time soon.
West Africa is currently undergoing the worst Ebola outbreak in history. Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone have been particularly affected, with a total of 1,603 recorded cases and 887 deaths. The CDC has warned against all non-essential travel to those countries.