Updated 12:12 PM EST, Thu, Jan 20, 2022

Ebola Outbreak 2014 News Update, Watchlist & Death Toll: 357 Monitored in NYC; Infected Doctor Improving

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New York City health officials announced that they are now actively monitoring 357 patients for signs of Ebola virus, according to LA Times. Majority of those being observed arrived in New York in the last 21 days from West Africa.

"New York is one of five points of entry the U.S. has designated for travelers from nations with Ebola outbreaks," Business Week noted. The state, alongside New Jersey and Illinois, implemented mandatory quarantines for travelers returning from Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea, where the Ebola outbreak is concentrated.

NYC Ebola Patient

Craig Spencer, one of those who have been infected with Ebola, is now improving from the virus. Business Week reports that the New York City doctor contracted Ebola while caring for sick patients in Guinea. The group of medical workers who helped transfer Spencer to Bellevue Hospital Center is also under quarantine.

Bloomberg adds that Spencer, 33, was one of the volunteers for Doctors Without Borders. He started showing symptoms on October 23, six days after returning from Guinea. He was immediately rushed to and isolated in the Bellevue hospital from his northern Manhatttan home.

"His treatment has included an experimental drug made by Chimerix Inc., brincidofovir, as well as a blood transfusion from another Ebola survivor, which can boost virus-fighting antibodies in a patient," Bloomberg noted.

Two of the three people Spencer came in close contact with are now released from quarantine and "poses no public health threat and is showing no symptoms," while one is still under observation, according to Business Week.

"This person's daily movements in New York City will no longer be restricted, and the individual will be assessed twice each day by Health Department staff," NYC health officials said of those released from quarantine, as cited by Business Week.

About 13,000 people have been infected with Ebola and 5,000 died. Business Week noted that current standard cure uses antibiotics against secondary infections.

"The number of people under watch in New York will fluctuate as health officials learn more about possible exposures to the virus, new travelers arrive or depart, or as their monitoring period ends," according to Business Week.

In a report from Boston.com, it was stated that US President Barack Obama asked representatives "to approve $6.18 billion emergency appropriations request for the 2015 fiscal year to develop a comprehensive strategy" to fight the Ebola outbreak in West African countries. The funding request consists of $4.64 billion for immediate needs and $1.54 billion for contingency funding.

"My foremost priority is to protect the health and safety of Americans, and this request supports all necessary steps to fortify our domestic health system and prevent any outbreaks at home," said President Obama, as quoted by Boston.com.

"Over the longer term, my Administration recognizes that the best way to prevent additional cases at home will be to contain and eliminate the epidemic at its source in Africa," he concluded.

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