Officials in New York City said Thursday that an emergency room doctor who recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus, in the first case of the virus in the U.S. outside of Texas. Across the globe, the West African nation of Mali also reported its first Ebola case.
Ebola cases reported in New York City and MaliOfficials in New York City said Thursday that an emergency room doctor who recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus, in the first case of the virus in the U.S. outside of Texas. Across the globe, the West African nation of Mali also reported its first Ebola case.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday there’s no reason for residents in the city to be alarmed by the Ebola diagnosis. He said all city officials followed “clear and strong” protocols in their handling and treatment of the physician, Craig Spencer, who is a member of Doctors Without Borders.
“We want to state at the outset that New Yorkers have no reason to be alarmed,” de Blasio said. “New Yorkers who have not been exposed are not at all at risk.”
Spencer, 33, had been working in Guinea. He returned more than a week ago and reported Thursday coming down with a 103-degree fever and diarrhea. He was being treated in an isolation ward at Manhattan’s Bellevue Hospital, a designated Ebola center.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which will do a further test to confirm the initial results, has dispatched an Ebola response team to New York, and the city’s disease detectives have been tracing the doctor’s contacts to identify anyone who may be at risk.
City officials say Spencer acknowledged riding the subway and taking a cab to a Brooklyn bowling alley in the past week before he started showing symptoms.
His Harlem apartment was cordoned off, and his fiancee, who was not showing symptoms, was being watched in a quarantine ward at Bellevue. The Department of Health was on site across the street from the apartment building Thursday night, giving out information to area residents.
Health officials say the chances of the average New Yorker contracting Ebola, which is spread through direct contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person, are slim. Someone can’t be infected just by being near someone who’s sick with Ebola. Someone isn’t contagious unless he is sick. Symptoms are similar to malaria and cholera.
Mali’s first Ebola case was also reported late Thursday, marking a major setback for West African efforts to contain the deadly virus that now has affected six countries in the region and left nearly 5,000 dead.
Health Minister Ousmane Kone made the announcement on Malian television, saying that the patient was a 2-year-old girl who had come from neighboring Guinea, where the Ebola epidemic began last December.
The child was tested for the virus Wednesday at a hospital in the Malian town of Kayes, which is about 375 miles (600 kilometers) from the capital of Bamako.
“The sick child and the people who were in contact with her in Kayes were immediately identified and taken care of,” Kone said.
Health officials have long viewed Mali as one of the most vulnerable to Ebola’s spread as the nation borders Guinea — one of the hardest-hit countries — and Senegal.
Like the reported case in Mali, neighboring Senegal also had an imported case from Guinea. Senegal and Nigeria, though, both have now been declared Ebola-free after no new cases emerged after 42 days.
Ebola is spread through direct contact with the bodily fluids of sick people, and caregivers and health workers have borne the brunt of the crisis. Protocol calls for those who have been exposed to be isolated and monitored for symptoms for up to 21 days.
The World Health Organization said Wednesday that Ebola now has killed at least 4,877 people and infected 9,936 across West Africa. Nearly all the cases and deaths, though, have occurred in three countries — Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.
Story compiled from Associated Press reports.
American donations to fight Ebola not as much as giving for other causes
Americans are considered some of the world’s most charitable people in the world, but their usual generosity hasn’t extended to the fight against Ebola in West Africa. Fundraising results for Ebola so far pale in comparison to other global catastrophes. CCTV America’s Karina Huber reports.
Haiti’s earthquake in 2010 galvanized Americans into donating $1.4 billion that year. The 2004 Asian tsunami raised $1.6 billion from American donors. However, the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, which killed about 4,900 to 15,000 people, has raised nothing approaching that.
“There’s probably about $100 million-$150 million in private philanthropy that has come in and then maybe another $25 million-$50 million in donations of products and services from American corporations. And then of course there’s the contributions of the American taxpayer, which have probably been between $200 million-$300 million,” said Bob Ottenhoff, president and chief executive of the Center for Disaster Philanthropy.
That’s not to say that Americans are growing less compassionate. A report by the U.K. Charities Aid Foundation ranked Americans the most charitable among 135 countries surveyed in 2012.
Experts said part of the problem is that it’s harder to get people’s sympathy when the tragedy involves viruses and other slower-moving disasters.
American donations to fight Ebola not as much as giving for other causesAmericans are considered some of the world’s most charitable people in the world, but their usual generosity hasn’t extended to the fight against Ebola in West Africa. Fundraising results for Ebola so far pale in comparison to other global catastrophes. CCTV America’s Karina Huber reports.
Charities also haven’t been as active in their outreach because so few non-governmental organizations were prepared to respond to Ebola right away, said New York University professor Jennifer Tierney.
Fundraising has begun to improve. Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg donated $25 million, Bill Gates’s foundation pledged $50 million and the co-founder of Microsoft, Paul Allen, donated $100 million today. Donations from ordinary Americans have also begun to trickle in due to increased media coverage of the outbreak.
However there is still a massive shortage of funds. The World Health Organization fears Ebola could infect 10,000 a week by December if the outbreak isn’t contained.
For more on the how small donations can help, CCTV America’s Michelle Makori talked with Doug White, director of the Fundraising Management M.S. Program at Columbia University and the author of the book ‘Charity on Trial.’