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New York doctor free of Ebola virus, to be released from hospital

An American doctor who became the the first person in the city to be diagnosed with Ebola, is free from the virus and will be discharged from hospital today, officials said.

They also stressed that he poses no health risk to the public.

Craig Spencer, 33 had treated Ebola patients in Guinea and returned to the US last month after which he was diagnosed with having the deadly virus, becoming New York city’s first diagnosed case.

He was being treated at the Bellevue Hospital since October 23 and will now be released after being cured of the disease.

“After a rigorous course of treatment and testing, Craig Spencer – the patient admitted and diagnosed with Ebola Disease Virus at HHC Bellevue Hospital Center – has been declared free of the virus. Spencer poses no public health risk and will be discharged from the hospital Tuesday, November 11,” the NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation said in a statement yesterday.

Spencer was among the handful of patients who had been treated at various US hospitals for Ebola.

The only case of death from Ebola in America was that of Liberian national Thomas Eric Duncan, who died on October 8 in Dallas.

Two nurses who came into contact with Duncan and then tested positive for Ebola received treatment and are now free of the virus.

Other Ebola patients, including American aid workers and a TV cameraman, have also recovered.

Spencer had been working with Doctors Without Borders in Guinea and returned to New York City through JFK Airport on October 17.

He had been subjected to an enhanced screening for all returning travelers from countries most affected by the Ebola epidemic.

He however reported a fever of 100.3 degrees to local health officials for the first time on October 23 and was immediately transported by a specially-trained Hazardous Material Tactical Units wearing Personal Protective Equipment to Bellevue.

In the days since he returned, Spencer had taken the subway and visited a bowling alley in Brooklyn.

His girlfriend and a couple of friends had been quarantined.

Earlier this month, the city’s health department had said that Spencer’s condition had improved to ‘stable’ from ‘serious but stable’.

Eminent Indian-American physician Ramanathan Raju is at the helm of New York City’s response team put in place to tackle Ebola.

According to latest estimates by the World Health Organisation, there have been 13,268 reported Ebola cases in eight affected countries since the outbreak began, with 4960 reported deaths.

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