A Timeline Of Craig Spencer's Wednesday In New York Before His Ebola Diagnosis
On Thursday, New York City saw its first Ebola patient. Craig Spencer, a Doctors Without Borders worker who had recently returned from Guinea, tested positive for Ebola in New York City's Bellevue Hospital. While he undergoes treatment there, officials are using Spencer's credit card and MetroCard to retrace his steps. According to authorities, Spencer had only come in close contact with only four people since he arrived in New York a week ago. However, as the timeline of Spencer's activities suggest, he may have come in contact with a whole lot more.
Spencer, who is a staff physician at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, started becoming symptomatic on Thursday, experiencing abdominal pain, nausea, fatigue, and a 100.3-degree fever. The 33-year-old doctor, who had recalled feeling sluggish in the days prior, was immediately transported from his Harlem home to Bellevue. The NYC hospital is one of eight in the state that are fully prepared to handle Ebola patients.
Mayor Bill de Blasio issued a statement on Thursday, reassuring New Yorkers that they had no reason to be worried. He told a news conference at the hospital:
We have been preparing for months for the threat posed by Ebola. We have clear and strong protocols, which are being scrupulously followed and were followed in this instance.
Dr. Mary Travis Bassett, the city's health commissioner, also tried to be reassuring, telling the press conference:
He was being mindful about contact with people.... Our impression is that he spent most of his time inside his apartment.
After Spencer reportedly took his temperature every day and attempted to self-isolate, he must have prematurely concluded that he was Ebola-free. The sheer number of places Spencer visited, many of which were crowded public spaces — this is New York City after all — and the mileage he covered are a little alarming, although the city of New York insists he couldn't have been contagious at that point. Here's a full timeline.
Friday, October 17
Spencer arrives at New York's JFK Airport after leaving Guinea on October 14 and traveling through Europe for a few days.
Wednesday, October 22
During the day Wednesday, Spencer went on a three-mile run. He also took the A line subway and visited the High Line park that spans 1.45 miles along Manhattan's West side. All that jogging and walking probably worked up his appetite; he decided to eat at The Meatball Shop restaurant in Manhattan.
In the evening, he hopped on the L line subway and went across the East River into Williamsburg, where he joined friends for bowling at The Gutter. At the end of the night, he took an Uber car home. The Gutter closed its facility the next day as a precaution.
Thursday, October 23
The doctor started feeling feverish between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. He was transported to Bellevue and placed under isolation.
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