Two ambulances responded, and two paramedics fully encased in protective suits brought Dr. Spencer out of his apartment on West 147th Street; two others who were not in suits drove.
When the paramedics left the hospital, their suits were sprayed with disinfectant and cut off from behind by a special unit, Mr. Miranda said. The ambulance was also decontaminated.
"The suit was peeled off them like an onion," he said. "So everything went by the book."
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He said the paramedics would have their temperatures taken twice a day for 21 days to ensure they had not been infected, but in the meantime they would be free to continue responding to calls because "there was no breach."
Soothing the fears of those who may have been at the Gutter, the Brooklyn bowling alley Dr. Spencer visited, or who might have ridden in a subway car with him could well be more challenging.
In the Dallas case, the Frontier Airlines plane on which an infected nurse flew was taken out of service and decontaminated in a process that included replacing seat covers and the carpet area near the nurse's seat. The airline said it had gone to great lengths to ease customer's fears.
Yet cruise ship officials were widely ridiculed for overreacting when they decontaminated a ship on which a lab technician traveled after coming into contact with specimens taken from Mr. Duncan before his death.
Dr. Spencer has been isolated in a seventh-floor ward at Bellevue, the city's main public hospital, that was specially designed to treat highly infectious tuberculosis patients. The unit is locked and guarded, with rooms where health care workers can be decontaminated and cameras can monitor patients remotely.