I've been searching the New York city and state health departments, and the newspapers, for an update on Dr. Craig Spencer's condition. Bellevue Hospital has a one-line statement from October 30: "The patient with Ebola, Dr. Spencer, remains in serious but stable condition." That's it.
The city is tracking 117 people for Ebola symptoms by issuing free thermometers and trusting them to relay their temperatures to the Health Department twice a day, officials said Thursday.
No one on the list has shown any symptoms, and all are being monitored “out of an abundance of caution,” said City Hall spokeswoman Marti Adams.
About 470 Health Department workers are responsible for calling all those being monitored twice a day and keeping a log of their temperatures.
“It ensures that health officials can respond rapidly in case a person who is at risk becomes ill, so they can be isolated and evaluated before they become contagious,” Adams said.
The number of people being “actively monitored” will fluctuate on a daily basis, according to the Mayor’s Office.
The list includes Bellevue Hospital workers caring for Dr. Craig Spencer, who contracted the disease after treating Ebola patients in Guinea. New York City’s first and only confirmed case of Ebola was listed in serious but stable condition Thursday.
Also being actively monitored are the FDNY EMS workers who took Spencer to the hospital, the workers who handled his blood, his fiancée and two friends.
The fiancée and friends are under home quarantine and are being checked in person, the Health Department said.
Spencer tested positive for the disease on Oct. 23, just days after returning to his home in Harlem. His case highlighted the behind-the-scenes work of the city’s team of disease detectives.
They used information from his credit cards, MetroCards and his cellphone records to piece together an hour-by-hour timeline of his movements since returning to the city.