New York City doctor Craig Spencer will be released from Bellevue Hospital on Tuesday after being treated for the Ebola virus, The New York Times reported Monday.
Spencer, 33, had been working with Doctors Without Borders until last month treating Ebola patients in Guinea. He returned to New York on Oct. 17 and began to show symptoms the morning of Oct. 23. He was taken to the hospital in an ambulance and was diagnosed with Ebola several hours later.
The hospital confirmed the news, saying in a statement that Spencer has been declared free of the Ebola virus and poses no public health risk.
City officials, including Mayor Bill de Blasio and Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett, will discuss Spencer's discharge in a Tuesday press conference. Spencer is expected to speak as well.
Spencer was hospitalized in serious condition but gradually improved over time. He received antiviral therapy as well as a plasma transfusion from health worker Nancy Writebol, who contracted the virus in Liberia and survived it. Both treatments are experimental, and they have both been used to treat other Ebola patients in the U.S.
Spencer's diagnosis set off a wave of reactions both locally and nationally. New York public health authorities raced to retrace his movements between when he arrived at JFK airport and was brought to the hospital. He ate at The Meatball Shop, took a walk on the High Line, bowled at a Brooklyn alley called The Gutter and rode the 1, A and L subway lines. Cleaning crews scrubbed the restaurant and the bowling alley, as well as Spencer’s Harlem apartment, the day after he was admitted to the hospital.
De Blasio urged the public to remain calm, saying that New Yorkers had “no reason to be alarmed.” He rode the subway and ate at The Meatball Shop along with Bassett and his wife, Chirlane McCray, to show that the restaurant was safe. Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams visited The Gutter and challenged residents to come and try to beat his score.
Several states across the nation responded to Spencer’s diagnosis by implementing new restrictions for health workers returning from fighting Ebola in West Africa. New York and New Jersey had the strictest rules, imposing mandatory 21-day quarantines for those who treated or had contact with Ebola patients. In other states, including Michigan, Delaware and Minnesota, public health officials monitored anyone who had come to the U.S. from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone for 21 days, the maximum amount of time it takes for Ebola symptoms to appear.
An estimated 13,268 people have contracted Ebola during the current outbreak in West Africa and 4,960 people have died from it, according to Nov. 4 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.