A man who claimed to be suffering from the highly contagious Ebola virus caused the evacuation of one of New York City’s most populated transportation hubs Thursday. A section of the Port Authority Bus Station in midtown Manhattan was shut down after a man sitting on a bench said he was showing symptoms of the disease.
The man had been sitting in the station for more than 10 hours and had come to New York from Detroit, authorities said.
“A man who became ill at the Port Authority Bus Terminal this afternoon was taken to an area hospital, where medical officials have told the Port Authority there is no indication he has any communicable diseases,” officials said in a statement. “Several gates have been closed out of an abundance of caution for cleaning.”
Bystanders said the man’s eyes appeared bloodshot.
“We took extra levels of precaution because of information shared on the scene there,” said fire department spokesperson Jim Long.
While authorities said there were no indications he had Ebola, it wouldn’t be the first time the virus has reared its head in New York. During the outbreak of Ebola in 2014, which was primarily clustered in West Africa, a New York City doctor named Craig Spencer was diagnosed after treating patients in Guinea, West Africa. Spencer survived the virus.
Ebola has an average fatality rate of about 50 percent, according to the World Health Organization, and the disease killed more than 11,000 people in West Africa during the 2014 outbreak. Four cases were reported in the United States, including Spencer’s. Two were contracted in the U.S., while one was contracted in Liberia and the other in Guinea.
The World Health Organization announced in April 2016 that while the health emergency caused by the virus was effectively over, it expected to see cases continue to appear.