A 5-year-old boy showing possible symptoms of Ebola was being checked at a New York City hospital for the virus, the New York Post reported Monday. The boy, who was vomiting and had a fever, returned over the weekend from Guinea, one of the West African countries where Ebola has killed thousands of people since earlier this year.
The boy had a 103-degree fever, a neighbor told the Post. They said EMS workers wearing hazmat suits carried the child from his home in the Bronx. “He looked weak,” the neighbor said. “He was really, really out of it.”
The 5-year-old’s family, who also returned from Guinea on Saturday night, were being quarantined inside their home. The boy is being watched at Bellevue Hospital, the same facility treating Dr. Craig Spencer, who was diagnosed with Ebola last week after treating virus patients in West Africa. Spencer is in serious but stable condition, according to WNYW.
The quarantine for the boy’s family was part of a plan instituted by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who held a joint news conference with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie after Spencer was diagnosed with Ebola. Cuomo is allowing asymptomatic family members to be quarantined in their homes. Christie followed suit, but he's forcing Kaci Hickox, a Maine nurse who treated Ebola patients in West Africa, to be under quarantine at a New Jersey hospital.
Hickox, who isn’t displaying any Ebola symptoms, slammed Christie’s order and is filing a lawsuit against the quarantine. “If he knew anything about Ebola he would know that asymptomatic people are not infectious,” she told CNN.
The governors’ quarantine plans were criticized by an unnamed Obama administration official who told the New York Times that the protocols weren’t rooted in science. The officials said the quarantine plans were “uncoordinated, very hurried, an immediate reaction to the New York City case that doesn’t comport with science.”