Skip to main content

See also:

Fear swirls as man in New York is tested for deadly Ebola virus

Man tested for Ebola in New York
Man tested for Ebola in New York
Cynthia Goldsmith/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

On Monday, The Blaze reported that fears of a potential outbreak of Ebola are "swirling" upon news that a man is being tested for the deadly disease at New York's Mount Sinai Hospital. According to The Blaze, the man displayed Ebola-like symptoms after a recent trip to West Africa.

WABC said the man came to the hospital's emergency room with high fever and gastrointestinal symptoms. The man has been placed in strict isolation and is undergoing screening, WABC added.

"All necessary steps are being taken to ensure the safety of all patients, visitors and staff," the hospital said in a statement. "We will continue to work closely with federal, state and city health officials to address and monitor this case, keep the community informed and provide the best quality care to all of our patients."

A CDC spokesperson said testing takes one to two days after they receive the samples. WABC said the agency has tested samples from about six individuals who have a travel history to the region and displayed symptoms.

"Many things cause fever and gastrointestinal symptoms," said ABC News' Dr. Richard Besser. "The steps they are taking are wise given the travel history, but nothing about the symptoms is specific to Ebola."

So far, over 1,300 people in Africa have become sick with the disease. Over 700 have died, mostly in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

The disease is spread through contact with bodily fluids like blood, mucous or urine. It may take up to 21 days for symptoms to appear, meaning infected travelers could come to the United States without knowing they have the disease.

"There is a screening process that individuals have to go through when they board aircraft departing the countries where this outbreak has been reported," White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said. "There is additional screening that occurs when individuals who started in that region of the world arrive in this country."

Airline passengers suspected of carrying the virus would be quarantined immediately and evaluated by medical personnel, the CDC said. Nevertheless, an infected person can make it into the country undetected.

"There is always the possibility that someone with an infectious disease can enter the United States," CDC spokeswoman Barbara Reynolds said. "The public health concern is whether it would spread, and, if so, how quickly."

There is another extremely frightening scenario taking place, however. on Sunday, Breitbart.com reported that a leaked Customs and Border Protection report says that at least 71 individuals from countries currently suffering from the Ebola outbreak have been caught attempting to sneak across America's porous border between January - July 2014. There's no telling how many have made it across the border undetected.

Nevertheless, health officials say the threat to Americans is relatively small, ABC added. Not to worry, though, as President Obama signed an executive order last week allowing for the detention of Americans who display symptoms of respiratory illness.