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Live Updates: Health Worker Isolated In New Jersey Tests Negative For Ebola

The latest from BuzzFeed News on the confirmed Ebola case in New York City and the response to the virus in the U.S.

Originally posted on
Updated on

What We Know So Far

• N.J. health worker tested negative for Ebola.• Dr. Craig Allen Spencer, 33, recently returned from Guinea after working with patients there.• Spencer's temperature when he arrived at Bellevue Hospital was 100.3°F, not 103.• President Obama Spoke with New York Gov. Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio Thursday.• Spencer traveled to a bowling alley and rode the subways before arriving at the hospital Thursday morning and testing positive for Ebola. • Spencer's fiancée and two friends have also been quarantined.• Dallas nurse Nina Pham is Ebola-free, doctors said.

Updates

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The nurse quarantined in New Jersey after possible Ebola symptoms tested negative for the disease on Saturday, the N.J. Department of Health reported.

The Department of Health said that the woman will remain in isolation for further observation and testing.

"Physicians at University Hospital continue to monitor the patient and consult with the Department of Health and the CDC on patient evaluation and any potential need for additional testing," the Department of Health said in a statement.

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The healthcare worker hospitalized Friday in New Jersey had been in West Africa worker with Doctors Without Borders.

ZOOM DOSSO/AFP / Getty Images

Health workers at a Doctors Without Borders Ebola treatment center in Monrovia, Liberia, on October 18.

Doctors Without Borders press officer Tim Shenk confirmed to BuzzFeed News Friday that the worker had been with organization and was returning from Africa. Shenk also said Doctors Without Borders has "enacted strict protocols governing the return of its health workers to their home countries."

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A healthcare worker who recently spent time in West Africa developed a fever Friday and was isolated at University Hospital in Newark, New Jersey.

The worker arrived at Newark Liberty International Airport on Friday and didn't have symptoms at the time, according to the New Jersey Department of Health. Prior to her arrival in the U.S. she had a "history of treating Ebola patients," the department added.

Fevered health care worker who was in West Africa taken to University Hospital: officials http://t.co/8wzBK7ezhc

NBC New York@NBCNewYorkFollow

Fevered health care worker who was in West Africa taken to University Hospital: officials http://t.co/8wzBK7ezhc

5:27 PM - 24 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

PIX 11 identified the worker as a woman and reported that she was quarantined after authorities learned of her travel history.

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N.Y. announces state information line to answer Ebola questions.

Today we launched a new State info line to answer public health questions about Ebola: 1-800-861-2280. For medical attention, call 9-1-1.

Andrew Cuomo@NYGovCuomoFollow

Today we launched a new State info line to answer public health questions about Ebola: 1-800-861-2280. For medical attention, call 9-1-1.

6:02 PM - 24 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

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N.Y. and N.J. to quarantine health workers returning from Ebola-stricken countries.

Healthcare workers returning to the U.S. after working with Ebola patients could be quarantined for up to 21 days, according to N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo and N.J. Gov. Chris Christie.

Earlier Friday, a woman who had been exposed to sick patients in West Africa was placed into isolation after she arrived at Newark Liberty International Airport, according to reports. She showed no signs of being ill herself, according to reports, but she said she had been in contact with people who had died of Ebola while wearing protective equipment.

Earlier this week, the Centers for Disease Control announced it would institute "post-arrival monitoring of travelers whose travel originates in Liberia, Sierra Leone, or Guinea." Cuomo and Christie said that the CDC procedures are not strong enough.

"We believe it's appropriate to increase the current screening procedures from people coming from affected countries from the current (CDC procedures)," Cuomo said during a news conference. "We believe it within the State of New York and the State of New Jersey's legal rights."

Today, a healthcare worker arrived at Newark Airport, w/ a recent history of treating patients w/ Ebola in West Africa, but w/ no symptoms.

Governor Christie@GovChristieFollow

Today, a healthcare worker arrived at Newark Airport, w/ a recent history of treating patients w/ Ebola in West Africa, but w/ no symptoms.

5:01 PM - 24 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

After @CDCgov alerted @NJDeptofhealth of the traveler, @NJDeptofhealth made the determination that a legal quarantine order should be issued

Governor Christie@GovChristieFollow

After @CDCgov alerted @NJDeptofhealth of the traveler, @NJDeptofhealth made the determination that a legal quarantine order should be issued

5:03 PM - 24 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

.@NYGovCuomo and I discussed it before we came out today and a quarantine order will be issued.

Governor Christie@GovChristieFollow

.@NYGovCuomo and I discussed it before we came out today and a quarantine order will be issued.

5:14 PM - 24 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

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Meatball Shop can open for business.

The Meatball Shop declared clear and safe for customers, says Frank McCarthy, Deputy Commissioner for NYC Emergency Management. #EbolaInNYC

Nicolás Medina Mora@MedinaMoraFollow

The Meatball Shop declared clear and safe for customers, says Frank McCarthy, Deputy Commissioner for NYC Emergency Management. #EbolaInNYC

3:30 PM - 24 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Posted at

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which runs New York City's subways, said the system is "safe to ride."

The agency released this statement:

"Ebola is spread only by contact with the bodily fluids of a contagious person, and the virus cannot live for more than a few hours on hard surfaces. There is no indication the patient was contagious when he rode the subway. There is no indication he emitted any bodily fluids on the subway. There were no reports of bodily fluids on any of the subway lines he rode.

The MTA has existing protocols for cleaning potentially infectious waste such as bodily fluids from anywhere in the mass transit network. They include isolating a bus, train car or subway car so no other customers can enter, providing personal protective equipment and training for employees who have to remove the waste, and ensuring it is disposed of safely.

Based on advice from health experts, the MTA has updated the protocols to ensure employees are issued nitrile gloves, use a 10% bleach solution for disinfection, and double-bag any potentially infectious waste."
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Here's an updated timeline for Spencer from New York City officials:

The New York City Health Department released the following timeline for Stevens:

On 10/14, the patient departed Guinea on a flight to Brussels. Patient reported no symptoms.

On 10/17, the patient boarded a flight to the U.S. on Brussels Airlines Flight SN0501. Patient reported no symptoms.

On 10/17, the patient arrived at JFK. The patient was screened at JFK and had no symptoms upon arrival.

On 10/21 at 7 AM, the patient reported fatigue and exhaustion. No fever, vomiting, diarrhea.
Fatigue is a symptom of Ebola, but it is very unlikely that people he came into close contact with on 10/21 are at risk. Out of an abundance of caution, we are actively monitoring the health of these close contacts.

On 10/21, around 3:00 PM, the patient visited The Meatball Shop. The Meatball Shop is located at 64 Greenwich Avenue.
Spent 40 minutes at The Meatball Shop.

On 10/21, around 4:30 PM, the patient visited the High Line.
Walked on High Line and stopped at the Blue Bottle Coffee stand (10th Ave & W 16th St)

On 10/21, around 5:30 PM, the patient got off the High Line at 34th Street and took the 1 train to the 145th Street station.

On 10/22, around 1:00 PM, the patient went running along Riverside Drive and Westside Highway

On 10/22, around 2:00 PM, the patient went to pick up Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share at 143rd St and Amsterdam Avenue (Corbin Hill Farm)
Patient picked up box and brought back to apartment

On 10/22, around 5:30 PM, the patient left for The Gutter bowling alley in Williamsburg, Brooklyn with two friends. For his arrival at Gutter, the patient took the A train at 145th Street and transferred at 14th Street and took the L train to Bedford Avenue.

On 10/22, around 8:30 PM, the patient left The Gutter. For his return trip, the patient used Uber as his means of transportation.

On 10/23, around 10:15AM, the patient first reported a fever. At this point, the patient called Medecins Sans Frontieres and the New York City Health Department. He was immediately taken to Bellevue by FDNY EMS. The patient was tested for Ebola at the Health Department's Public Health Lab. Test results are presumptive positive for Ebola. A confirmatory test will be conducted by the CDC; results will be available within the next 24 hours.
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Spencer continues to remain in a "stable condition," NYC Health Commissioner said.

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CDC Confirms Spencer has Ebola

NYC Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett said the CDC "are confirming his Ebola test. It is also positive. He is now a confirmed Ebola patient."

She said city investigators have cleared The Gutter – where Spencer bowled – for opening and are investigating at the Meatball Shop, where Spencer ate in Manhattan.

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Mayor de Blasio said "we have no other cases reported.”

The patient is in isolation at Bellevue Hospital "and poses no threat," he said.

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Mayor de Blasio said at a news conference that there is "no cause for alarm."

"New Yorkers need to understand the situation is being handled and handed well," the mayor said at the Office of Emergency Management headquarters in Brooklyn.

"Ebola is an extremely hard disease to contract," he said, adding that people should not change their daily routines.

"We are fully prepared to handle Ebola," he said, adding that emergency medical services have conducted drills "knowing the day might come...they executed exactly correctly."

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Pham thanked Dr. Kent Brantly, the Texas doctor who survived Ebola, for his "selfless act" of donating his plasma to her.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Associated Press

Patient Nina Pham is hugged by Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

She requested privacy for herself and her family as she returns to Texas and reunites with her dog Bentley. "Although I no longer have Ebola, it may be a while before I get my strength back," Pham said.

Dr. Anthony Fauci who treated Pham said she feels well and looks extraordinarily well. He said she will return home to Texas and resume a normal life. Fauci said he is going to miss her and took her phone number "in case he gets lonely."

Dr. Kent Brantly, an American doctor who contracted Ebola while working with patients in Liberia, was declared virus-free in August after he was treated in the U.S. with the experimental drug ZMapp. Brantly has since donated his blood to help treat other Ebola patients in the U.S. including Pham, Samaritan's Purse colleague Dr. Rick Sacra, and freelance cameraman Ashoka Mukp. All have now been declared free of the virus.

Posted at

Nurse Nina Pham now reading a statement. “I feel fortunate” to be here today.

BuzzFeed News@BuzzFeedNewsFollow

Nurse Nina Pham now reading a statement. I feel fortunate to be here today.

11:59 AM - 24 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Posted at

A small set of medical professionals are treating Spencer

Bellevue Hospital Dr tells me only 17 people are treating Dr Spencer.

Nicolás Medina Mora@MedinaMoraFollow

Bellevue Hospital Dr tells me only 17 people are treating Dr Spencer.

11:47 AM - 24 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Posted at

Dallas nurse Nina Pham is Ebola-free, NIH confirmed.

BREAKING: Dallas Nurse, Ebola Patient Nina Pham Now Cured, NIH Says

Derek Wallbank@dwallbankFollow

BREAKING: Dallas Nurse, Ebola Patient Nina Pham Now Cured, NIH Says

10:46 AM - 24 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Posted at

Live video: Mayor de Blasio holds news conference on Ebola patient in New York.

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com
Posted at

Live video: Dallas nurse Nina Pham is virus free, will leave NIH.

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com
Posted at

Mayor de Blasio rode the subway Friday, hoping to show it's safe.

Mayor @BilldeBlasio joined fellow New Yorkers on their subway commute this morning.

NYC Mayor's Office@NYCMayorsOfficeFollow

Mayor @BilldeBlasio joined fellow New Yorkers on their subway commute this morning.

11:10 AM - 24 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Posted at

Spencer's Harlem neighbors react to the news:

Aaron Ferreira lives next door from Dr Spencer and says be doesn't take the 1 train anymore. Worried about handpoles.

Nicolás Medina Mora@MedinaMoraFollow

Aaron Ferreira lives next door from Dr Spencer and says be doesn't take the 1 train anymore. Worried about handpoles.

10:08 AM - 24 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

NYC Council Member Mark Levine tells reporters specialized contractors will arrive soon to clean Dr. Spencer's apt

Nicolás Medina Mora@MedinaMoraFollow

NYC Council Member Mark Levine tells reporters specialized contractors will arrive soon to clean Dr. Spencer's apt

9:26 AM - 24 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Posted at

President @BarackObama called last night to recognize our city’s extensive preparations for an Ebola case.

Bill de Blasio@BilldeBlasioFollow

President @BarackObama called last night to recognize our citys extensive preparations for an Ebola case.

9:35 AM - 24 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Posted at

JUST IN: The U.S. Air Force flew the New York #Ebola samples to CDC in Atlanta -CNN

Vaughn Sterling@vplusFollow

JUST IN: The U.S. Air Force flew the New York #Ebola samples to CDC in Atlanta -CNN

9:26 AM - 24 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Posted at

"I wish I knew how long the virus can last, like, in a pool of spit" said Lisa Perchinske neighbor of nyc #ebola ptnt

Nicolás Medina Mora@MedinaMoraFollow

"I wish I knew how long the virus can last, like, in a pool of spit" said Lisa Perchinske neighbor of nyc #ebola ptnt

8:57 AM - 24 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Posted at

This is the scene that greets Dr. Spencer's neighbors as they walk out of their building this morning. #EbolaInNYC

Nicolás Medina Mora@MedinaMoraFollow

This is the scene that greets Dr. Spencer's neighbors as they walk out of their building this morning. #EbolaInNYC

8:45 AM - 24 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Posted at

Health officials handed out information cards to Spencer's neighbors in Harlem

Card given to Craig Spencer's neighbors

Posted at

The Brooklyn bowling alley that Spencer visited said it closed yesterday as a precautionary measure.

Facebook: thegutterbrooklyn

The Gutter said they had the assurance of the Health Department that customers and staff were not at risk.

Posted at

Cuomo, on MSNBC, said the doctor's temperature was lower than previously reported.

"We were dealing with a doctor, who was familiar with the illness," he said. "As soon as he saw that he was symptomatic he presented at the hospital. He has a 100.3 temperature, not a 103."

He added, "New York City subway ridership this morning is exactly normal. Subway workers came to work."

Posted at

On CNN, Gov. Cuomo reassured New Yorkers that public transportation is safe.

"We were prepared – it was handled exactly right<img src="https://abs.twimg.com/emoji/v1/72x72/201d.png"> - @NYGovCuomo on NY's response to first #Ebola patient @CNN

New Day@NewDayFollow

"We were prepared – it was handled exactly right - @NYGovCuomo on NY's response to first #Ebola patient @CNN

7:35 AM - 24 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

"We feel good that we were fully prepared; there's no reason for New Yorkers to panic or feel that they have anything to worry about on the subway system," Cuomo said, adding that he will ride either the 1, A, or L trains on Friday — the same subways Spender rode.

"There's no reason for undue anxiety in this situation."

Posted at

There seems to be confusion about what Spencer's temperature was when he arrived at the hospital:

The NYC doctor who has Ebola had a fever of 100.3 degrees, not 103 degrees as 1st reported, NYC health officials say http://t.co/yHkrNRFa3r

CBS News@CBSNewsFollow

The NYC doctor who has Ebola had a fever of 100.3 degrees, not 103 degrees as 1st reported, NYC health officials say http://t.co/yHkrNRFa3r

7:00 AM - 24 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Posted at

President Obama said he spoke with Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio late Thursday evening.

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sent a team to the city.

The president said "that an additional CDC response team would be in New York City by late Thursday night. The president offered the governor and mayor any additional federal support necessary to provide the highest standard of patient care, maintain the strictest safety protocols for health care workers, and to identify and, as necessary, monitor any contacts of the patient potentially at risk of exposure."

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BuzzFeed News reported on the positive Ebola case Thursday evening:

A New York City doctor who recently returned home from Guinea tested positive for Ebola Thursday, causing health officials to retrace his movements across the city and quarantine three other people.

Dr. Craig Allen Spencer, a 33-year-old Manhattan resident, developed a 100.3°F fever and diarrhea sometime between 10 and 11 a.m. Thursday, at which time public health officials believe he became contagious. Before he developed the fever, however, he visited a Williamsburg bowling alley, rode the subway's A, L and 1 lines, and possibly ate at a restaurant.

In spite of his forays into public, it's extremely unlikely anyone else will contract Ebola, said Dr. Mary Bassett, New York City health commissioner.
"People become contagious as they become sick," she said at a press conference Thursday night.

Spencer arrived in New York at John F. Kennedy Airport on Oct. 17, returning from work in Guinea with Doctors Without Borders. His return trip routed him through Europe, officials said.