BREAKING: Pair of possible Ebola patients quarantined at New York City’s Bellevue Hospital
EMS crews who dealt with the patients have also been isolated as a precaution, sources said. But a hospital spokeswoman insisted Monday: ‘There are currently no patients suspected of having Ebola at Bellevue.’ If confirmed, the two would be the first cases in the city of a deadly disease that has already killed 4,000 people in West Africa and claimed one victim in the U.S.
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Published: Monday, October 13, 2014, 12:52 PM
Two people with symptoms similar to the Ebola virus were taken by Fire Department ambulances to a Manhattan hospital, sources said Monday.
Both patients were picked up at a New York City address and both are believed to have recently returned to the city from Africa, the sources said.
The two — both believed to be adults — were put into isolation at Bellevue Hospital.
The EMS crews that dealt with the patients were briefly isolated as a precaution and then cleared to go back to work, the sources said.
If confirmed, they would be the first cases in the city of a deadly disease that has already killed 4,000 people in West Africa and claimed one U.S. victim.
Ana Marengo, spokeswoman for the city Health & Hospitals Corp., which oversees Bellevue, insisted, “There are currently no patients suspected of having Ebola at Bellevue.”
But Ian Michaels, another Bellevue spokesman, would not answer whether the patients brought there by EMS have been cleared — or whether they have been moved to another facility.
ANTHONY DELMUNDO/NEW YORK DAILY NEWSBellevue staff last week modeled the kind of hazmat suits health workers must wear while caring for Ebola patients.
The troubling development came a day after the feds reported the first known transmission of the disease in the U.S. — a Dallas nurse who contracted it while taking care of Thomas Duncan, who died of Ebola on Wednesday.
The New York cases were reported just a couple days after a teen sparked an Ebola scare after he was taken to a Brooklyn hospital with suspicious symptoms.
Jafar Bilal, 14, remains in isolation at Brookdale University Hospital but doctors said he didn’t have Ebola. He had been in Sudan, which is on the other side of the African continent from the countries hardest hit by the disease — Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.
The two new suspected cases to arrive at Bellevue are likely to fuel the growing hysteria over a disease that is transmitted through direct contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person.
In Boston, officials briefly closed a medical center and isolated a patient who had recently traveled to Liberia after the person complained about head and muscle aches.
And on the West Coast, a hazardous materials crew materialized at Los Angeles International Airport after a flight from Kennedy Airport landed with a sick patient aboard.
SPENCER PLATT/GETTY IMAGES
The patients were believed to have recently returned to New York City from Africa, and are now quarantined at Bellevue Hospital, pictured.
The feds are blaming the infection of a nurse who took care of Duncan on a “breach of protocol.” But this raised concerns about whether domestic hospitals were prepared to deal with a possible outbreak of Ebola.
President Obama was briefed about the situation in Dallas and urged the U.S. Centers for Disease Control to move as quickly as possible to determine what happened.
The unidentified worker was wearing a gown, gloves, masks and other protective gear while tending to Duncan at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital.
Hazmat teams decontaminated the nurse’s apartment. Officials have also been monitoring the 48 people who could have been exposed to Ebola through contact with Duncan, who had been in Liberia before he was admitted to the hospital on Sept. 28.
With Greg B. Smith