Tags: Ebola Outbreak | MidPoint | Patricia Salber | Ebola | Doctor | New York City

Patricia Salber: Ebola Doctor, NYC Following Protocols

By    |   Friday, 24 Oct 2014 04:23 PM

Health officials and medical workers in New York City are handling the case of an Ebola-infected physician, Craig Spencer, with sound protocols and precautions, and the right amount of urgency, a California emergency care physician told Newsmax TV on Friday.

Patricia Salber, an author and host of "The Doctor Weighs In," told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner that the principals in New York's first Ebola infection — Spencer himself, his aid group, Doctors Without Borders, and the city's health and medical apparatus — are doing exactly as they should.

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Manhattan resident Spencer, 33, was in Guinea treating Ebola patients for Doctors Without Borders until Oct. 14, and arrived symptom-free in New York on Oct. 17 through one of the nation's Ebola screening hubs, John F. Kennedy International Airport, according to reports.

"He was following the protocols that had been set up by Doctors Without Borders in cooperation with the CDC," said Salber. "He was taking his temperature twice a day and was monitoring himself for symptoms."

Spencer developed a fever and tested positive for the virus on Thursday.

He was reported in stable condition on Friday in an isolation unit at New York's Bellevue Hospital, while local officials scrambled to trace his movements and contacts in the six days between his return home and hospitalization.

"The minute he got symptoms [on Thursday], he called the appropriate authorities and he was transported to Bellevue where he is now in quarantine, and his fiancée and one other person is also in quarantine," said Salber.

Salber cautioned against regarding Spencer as a dangerous carrier in a crowded city.

"In terms of how he handled his return to the U.S., he did not have a fever either before he left the country or after he got back," said Salber. "When you don't have a fever or symptoms you are not infectious, somebody is not going to get it from you. Anybody who was on the plane with him has not been exposed. I do want people to understand that."

Salber argued that coming from an Ebola-affected region one does not need to be pre-emptively quarantined simply because of where they were. Showing symptoms of an infection is when quarantining should kick in, she said.

"I think the panic actually spreads faster than the disease," said Salber. "I think there's a lot of Ebola hysteria — not minimizing the city needs to be prepared and that this is a scary disease."

She said she believes that Bellevue and New York are ready, and that other cities and medical facilities are making the necessary adjustments.

"This morning, I got an email from my hospital system telling me, and all the members of the hospital system that I belong to, about the work that they had done, including hands-on practice for how to take on and off the protective gear," said Salber, "which is a period of time that we know puts the healthcare workers at risk."

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Health officials and medical workers in New York City are handling the case of an Ebola-infected physician, Craig Spencer, with sound protocols and precautions, and the right amount of urgency, a California emergency care physician told Newsmax TV on Friday.
Patricia Salber, Ebola, Doctor, New York City
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2014-23-24
Friday, 24 Oct 2014 04:23 PM
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