Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene today found that a five-year-old boy who fell ill and was taken to Bellevue Hospital after visiting Ebola-ravaged West Africa tested negative for the deadly disease.
The New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation, which runs Bellevue, announced that feverish child showed no signs of the disease–though it added he would be subjected to further testing before he was allowed to leave the medical facility “out of an abundance of caution.” The HHC noted again that Ebola is difficult to contract, and that New Yorkers have little to fear from the disease, which liquefies human organs and has killed thousands in nations like Guinea, Liberia, and the Republic of the Ivory Coast.
“The chances of the average New Yorker contracting Ebola are extremely slim. Ebola is spread by directly touching the bodily fluids of an infected person. You cannot be infected simply by being near someone who has Ebola,” the organization said in a statement.
So far, the only New Yorker to have tested positive for the disease is 33-year-old Harlem doctor Craig Spencer, who was taken to Bellevue last Thursday after he began exhibiting symptoms. Mr. Spencer had been working to combat the disease in Africa.
Last week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his New Jersey counterpart Chris Christie made the controversial decision to automatically quarantine all individuals who have had contact with Ebola patients upon entry into their states.