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Craig Spencer, New York Doctor With Ebola, Will Leave Bellevue Hospital

Dr. Craig Spencer is at Bellevue Hospital in New York undergoing treatment for Ebola.
Source: Linkedin
Dr. Craig Spencer is at Bellevue Hospital in New York undergoing treatment for Ebola.

Craig Spencer, the New York City doctor who became the first person in the city to test positive for Ebola, is being released from Bellevue Hospital Center on Tuesday morning, people familiar with his treatment said on Monday.

Dr. Spencer, 33, who had been in Guinea treating Ebola patients with Doctors Without Borders, was rushed to Bellevue by ambulance on Oct. 23 after reporting a fever of 100.3 to the authorities that morning. He was placed in isolation in a secure ward, and within hours a blood test had confirmed that he had the virus.

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His infection set the city on edge and set off a race to find his contacts over the previous few days, when he went bowling, dined out and rode on the subway and in an Uber taxi.

His release 19 days later adds to the evidence that when treated in advanced American hospitals, Ebola has a lower fatality rate than in West African field hospitals starved of doctors, nurses and equipment.

The plan to release Dr. Spencer has not been publicly announced but was confirmed on Monday by two people familiar with his treatment, but who declined to be identified because they did not have permission to release the information. A spokeswoman for Bellevue did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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It was unclear Monday whether Dr. Spencer would return to his Hamilton Heights apartment, where his fiancée, Morgan Dixon, is under quarantine. Two friends who had contact with him in the days before his diagnosis were initially held in quarantine, but recently released.

Dr. Spencer was given every treatment available, including an experimental drug and blood plasma donated by a recovered Ebola patient, Nancy Writebol, a 59-year-old missionary who contracted the virus in Liberia.

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His condition was serious at first, but by last week, he had asked for his banjo and exercise bicycle, the first signs that he was on the way to being released.