Ebola, the disease that has been ravaging West Africa, has finally hit the Big Apple. A New-York area doctor, who had recently returned from Guinea, has tested positive for Ebola. The doctor, Craig Spencer, was working with the Doctors without Borders program, treating patients with the disease. Spencer arrived at JFK airport with no symptoms, but started feeling feverish and fatigued a few days later. In the meantime, he visited three subway lines, a coffee shop, and a bowling alley, which are all now being checked for the Ebola virus. Spencer sought quarantine and is now being held at Bellevue Hospital. Following this turn of events, the governors of New York and New Jersey have decreed that airports will now require Ebola quarantines for airplane passengers who have come into contact with victims of the disease.
For those who do not know much about Ebola, it is a virus that causes flu-like symptoms, internal and external bleeding, as well as decreased organ function. It is spread through direct contact, so be careful of scratches and open wounds that you might have. There is a 50% fatality rate, with most victims dying from low blood pressure because of fluid loss.
New Yorkers have been taking this news in stride. Most are going about business as usual. I have faith that New York's healthcare providers will be able to contain this incident, but for now, residents should be aware of the dangers that Ebola poses and how to keep themselves safe. It is also encouraging that Nina Pham, one of the Dallas nurses who contracted Ebola, has made a full recovery. The US government is taking the necessary steps to combat the disease and keep the population safe.
- William Zhou