Fears of Ebola making its way to New York City are increasing as a man who traveled to West Africa was admitted to a hospital in Manhattan for treatment of symptoms associated with the fatal disease.
On Monday, Aug. 4, the unidentified man was shifted to Mount Sinai Medical Center after initially being admitted to Bellevue Hospital on Wednesday, July 30, where per the Health and Hospitals Corp. he was "immediately isolated with consideration for Ebola virus."
The unidentified man has traveled to West Africa last month and was suffering from high fever and gastrointestinal symptoms. As a precautionary measure, the hospital has kept him in "strict isolation." The patient was whisked off to be isolated within seven minutes of entering.
"All necessary steps are being taken to ensure the safety of all patients, visitors and staff," revealed a spokeswoman for the hospital.
Mount Sinai Medical Center is testing him for the virus, but believes it is unlikely that he has contracted the disease.
"Odds are, this is not Ebola," said Dr. Jeremy Boal, chief medical officer at Mount Sinai Health System. "It's much more likely ... a more common condition."
Dr. Boal expects to have a conclusive answer in a day or two. The hospital has sent a blood sample from the patient to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta. Officials revealed that it will take 24 to 48 hours to conclude if the patient is suffering from Ebola.
While patients who were in the waiting area with the unidentified man believed to have contracted Ebola will not have to get tested, the hospital has advised the man's family on ways of screening themselves.
Ebola spreads via contact with bodily fluids and has up to 90 percent fatality rate per the WHO. The symptoms include fever, vomiting, diarrhea, internal bleeding and red eyes.
While experts are of the opinion that an Ebola outbreak in the U.S. is unlikely, a watch is being kept on international travelers who may have flu-type symptoms. The CDC has revealed that three Americans residing in the U.S. were tested for the disease since the outbreak in West Africa earlier this year. However, these test results were negative.
Per the WHO, over 1600 people have been infected by Ebola since it was identified earlier in 2014. An alarming 887 individuals have lost their lives to the Ebola outbreak.