NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — New York City officials on Monday announced new plans in case the Ebola virus spreads to the city.
Officials announced Monday that 11 different emergency areas have been set up to deal with the virus. A lab where immediate testing can be conducted has also been established.
Meanwhile, in a “secret shopper” initiative, people posing as patients who claim they just traveled with Ebola-like symptoms will be sent to hospitals to test out the response.
President Barack Obama announced the crisis earlier Monday.
“We’re also going to be working on protocols to do additional passenger screening both at the source and here in the United States,” Obama said.
Until Monday, everyone who had come down with the Ebola virus in the outbreak contracted it in West Africa.
Now, a nurse working in Spain has caught the virus while treating a Spanish priest who had been in Sierra Leone. She has been reported in stable condition.
Last week, doctors in Texas diagnosed the first case of Ebola in the United States”>first case of Ebola in the United States. Thomas Eric Duncan traveled from disease-ravaged Liberia to Dallas last month before he began showing symptoms of the disease that has killed some 3,400 people in West Africa.
Hospital officials said Saturday that Duncan’s condition has worsened to critical.
Health officials said on Saturday that they are still monitoring about 50 people who may have had contact with Duncan for signs of the deadly disease. Among those are nine people who are believed to be at a higher risk. Thus far, none have shown symptoms.
On Saturday in Newark, more than 200 passengers and crew aboard a United Airlines flight arriving from Belgium were asked to stay on the plane after landing while a man was vomiting during the flight was examined, officials said.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention arrived, and the sick passenger, who was traveling from Liberia, was taken to University Hospital in Newark, where doctors determined he did not have Ebola and was not contagious.
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