Dr Craig Spencer who had contacted Ebola while treating patients in West Africa and become a household name in the USA after becoming the first person to test positive for the deadly virus in New York City. He had spent five weeks in Guinea treating Ebola patients with the aid group Doctors Without Borders before returning to New York three weeks back. He was rushed to Bellevue by ambulance on Oct. 23 after he developed high fever and was placed in isolation in a secure ward. Within hours, a blood test confirmed he had the virus.
His infection had set off a panic alarm in the city as the health authorities spent the next few days trying to pin down all those he had met after returning from Africa. That he had gone for bowling, dined out and rode on the subway and in an Uber taxi didn’t make things easier for them.
After his discharge from the hospital, Spencer is being hailed as a “fighter” and a “hero”.
“On behalf of all 8.4 million New Yorkers, I would like to welcome Craig Spencer back to his normal life,” de Blasio said, before inviting his wife to give Spencer the first hug.
“And now, the official mayoral hug,” he said, pulling Spencer into an embrace. “It is a good feeling to hug a hero, and we have a hero in our midst — someone who served others no matter how much danger. He has been an inspiration throughout the challenges he’s faced.”
Dr Craig Spencer hugging New York City Mayor after being discharged from hospital
“Today I am healthy and no longer infectious,” Dr. Spencer said at a news conference after his discharge from the hospital. The doctor won over many hearts as he tried to turn the spotlight away from himself and instead called on the public to focus where it was most needed- towards combating the killer virus.
“My treatment and recovery is an example of the effectiveness of the protocols in place for health care workers returning from West Africa,” said Dr. Spencer. “While my case has garnered international attention, it’s important to remember that my infection represents just one of the thousands affected by the Ebola outbreak in West Africa…Please join me in turning our attention back to West Africa and ensuring that other medical workers and volunteers do not face stigma when they return home.”
“[Dr. Spencer’s] work in West Africa was not only for the people of Guinea, it was for all of us,” said Dr. Mary Travis Bassett, commissioner of the New York City Department of Public Health. “We hope we won’t see another case of Ebola, but we will be vigilant in our response and also in the battle against stigma, which is another unfortunate side effect of Ebola.