Commissioner Mary T. Bassett
Statement by the New York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene On Patient At Bellevue Hospital.
Last night, EMS HAZ TAC Units transferred a patient to Bellevue Hospital. The patient, a minor, developed a fever this morning while under observation at the hospital. The patient was in one of the three Ebola epidemic countries in West Africa within the past 21 days.
The patient was transported by a specially trained HAZ TAC unit wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). The patient was not febrile when first examined at Bellevue. The patient developed a fever while at the hospital at approximately 7:00 am this morning. After consulting with the hospital and the CDC, the Health Department decided to conduct a test for the Ebola virus, because of this patient’s recent travel history and pattern of symptoms. The Health Department and HHC are also evaluating the patient for other causes of illness.
Preliminary test results are expected in the next 12 hours. As a further precaution, the Health Department’s team of disease detectives has begun to actively trace all of the patient’s contacts to identify anyone who may be at potential risk. The Health Department staff has established protocols to identify, notify, and, if necessary, quarantine any contacts of Ebola cases.
The Health Department is also working closely with HHC leadership, Bellevue’s clinical team and the New York State Department of Health to ensure that all staff caring for the patient do so while following the utmost safety guidelines and protocols.
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.