Internet Radio

BREAKING NEWS: Ebola strikes New York City: Doctor tests positive for deadly virus

Dr. Craig Spencer and his girlfriend, Morgan Dixon

BY  Larry CelonaJamie SchramShawn CohenFrank Rosario and Danika Fears

(NEW YORK POST) A Harlem doctor who recently treated patients in Africa, tested positive for the deadly disease after he was rushed to Bellevue Hospital with symptoms, including a 103-degree fever, sources told The Post.

Craig Spencer, a 33-year-old Doctors Without Borders volunteer, began showing symptoms one night after he was out bowling in Brooklyn, police sources said.

Spencer and his live-in girlfriend, Morgan Dixon, 30, were both quarantined at Bellevue at noon Thursday as cops retraced their steps since the doctor returned from Guinea on Oct. 17, the sources said.

Spencer had spent Wednesday night bowling in Williamsburg. He used an Uber car service to get to and from the Brooklyn neighborhood.

Hipster bowling hot spot The Gutter was closed last night due to “unforseen circumstances.”

Spencer had spent a month treating Ebola patients in Guinea, according to his Facebook page.

He landed at Kennedy Airport on Oct. 17 on a connecting flight from Brussels, Belgium, the sources said. With enhanced screening in place, officials checked his temperature upon arrival, and it was a healthy 98.6 degrees, the sources said.

 But on Thursday morning, he awoke with nausea, the alarming 103-degree temperature and stomach pains.

Spencer self-quarantined at his West 147th Street apartment and immediately alerted Doctors Without Borders, which notified the city Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and Mental Hygiene.

“After consulting with the hospital and the CDC, DOHMH has decided to conduct a test for the Ebola virus because of this patient’s recent travel history, pattern of symptoms and past work,” the agency said in a statement.

An army of emergency vehicles swarmed Spencer’s block around noon and completely shut the street down.

A witness saw a person huddled in a wheelchair and swaddled in blankets being lifted onto a stretcher and into an ambulance.

FDNY specialists in hazmat suits sealed off his fifth-floor apartment, sources said. Spencer was taken to Bellevue, which has been outfitted to treat any Ebola cases that arise in New York.

As doctors waited for his test results, a team of disease detectives searched for everyone who had been in contact with Spencer. That includes Dixon, who was picked up at her Downtown Brooklyn office on Thursday afternoon. So far, she has not shown any symptoms.

Neighbors have seen the couple around town since he arrived home. Dixon even dropped off the couple’s clothes at a local dry cleaner on Wednesday.

“I washed his clothes. I’ll be OK, right? It’ll be OK,” worker John Byun, 60, asked The Post.

The NYPD’s missing-persons squad is looking at Spencer’s MetroCard, credit cards and bank statements to follow his trail since he arrived back in the city, law-enforcement sources said.

Robert Cedano, who works in Spencer’s Harlem building, said he’s concerned about catching the deadly disease.

“It’s worrisome,” he said. “I don’t know when he got back. But he’s gone now, so I’m relieved.”

Residents at the building were handed fliers with bullet points on Ebola, including symptoms and how the virus is transmitted

Neighbor Morgan Pistrana, 16, who lives next door to Spencer said he’s a friendly guy who’s dedicated to his work, which often takes him overseas.

“I’m pretty sure he’s going to be fine,” she said.

But a law-enforcement source wasn’t so confident.

“He told the authorities, ‘Yeah, I was in West Africa, I was treating Ebola patients and now have a 103 fever and stomach pains, nausea, which are the classic symptoms of Ebola,” he said.

“You do the math.”

Spencer normally works out of Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan but, “He has not been to work at our hospital and has not seen any patients at our hospital since his return from overseas,” the medical center said in a statement.

“Our thoughts are with him, and we wish him all the best at this time.”

At least two Doctors Without Borders workers have contracted the disease so far this year.

Norwegian physician Silje Lehne Michalsen was infected in Sierra Leone and recovered this month, according to the Nordic Page.

A French nurse was also diagnosed with Ebola on Sept. 16 while working in Monrovia, Liberia, and recovered in France, said Doctors Without Borders.

Doctors Without Borders has been fighting Ebola in West Africa since March, and they have almost 3,000 staff in the region.

They have six Ebola case-management centers and have 600 beds to keep patients they are treating in isolation.