A New York man who lived in Brooklyn will be tested for Ebola after he was taken to Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan on Thursday with symptoms consistent with the virus, according to New York Daily News. The patient, who was in his 50s, returned to New York over the weekend from Mali, a country that is close to the epicenter of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa but has had limited transmission of the virus.
The unidentified man, who lived in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant, went to a doctor on Wednesday with flu-like symptoms. He was sent home, the Daily News reported. It is unclear whether his recent travel history was discussed. On Thursday, the man called 911 and asked to be taken to a neighborhood clinic, where he told the staff that he had recently returned from a trip to West Africa. Paramedics transported the man to Bellevue.
“An individual who came to the United States from Mali, a country with limited Ebola transmission, was taken to HHC Bellevue Hospital Center today,” the New York City Health Department said in a statement. “Due to the individual's travel history and symptoms, the patient has been isolated, and an Ebola test will be performed. Results are expected later today.”
The U.S. began this week to health-screen travelers coming into the country from Mali for signs of Ebola. Airline passengers arriving from Mali, which borders Guinea and has had six confirmed cases of Ebola, will have their temperatures taken and be asked to monitor themselves for symptoms for 21 days after entering the U.S. Five of the six Ebola patients in Mali have died, according to the World Health Organization. Health officials believe Ebola was brought to Mali by a 70-year-old Grand Imam from Guinea, who was admitted to the hospital on Oct. 25 and died from Ebola two days later.
Hospital officials at Bellevue said the decision to isolate and test the man from Brooklyn for Ebola is not an indication that he had the virus. “These are procedures we take in the interest of safety,” a source told the Daily. “It’s a precautionary step. None of it confirms that this person has Ebola.”