Doctors Without Borders (MSF) physician and Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) survivor, Dr. Craig Spencer was released from Bellevue Hospital in New York City Tuesday. During a press conference, Spencer thanked the hospital staff, praised the MSF protocols for returning health workers and told the world to keep their eyes on the battle in West Africa.
“I wanted to start by taking a moment to thank the medical team here at HHC Bellevue Hospital Center for the tremendous care and support they have provided to me to survive this virus. Since I was admitted on October 23, I have received an exceptional level of medical treatment, support, and encouragement from the whole medical and administrative team, Spencer said. I would especially like to thank Dr Laura Evans who has primarily managed my care since I first arrived and has been with me every day. Today I am healthy and no longer infectious.
“My recovery from Ebola speaks to the effectiveness of the protocols in place for health staff returning from West Africa at the time of my infection. I am a living example of how those protocols work, and of how early detection and isolation is critical to both surviving Ebola and ensuring that it is not transmitted to others.
“Please join me in turning our attention back to West Africa, and ensuring that medical volunteers and other aid workers do not face stigma and threats upon their return home. Volunteers need to be supported to help fight this outbreak at its source.”
Other New York City health officials commented during the Spencer press conference.
Dr. Ram Raju President and CEO New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation said, “The dictionary defines “hero” as someone “admired for his achievements and noble qualities” and “one who shows great courage.” Dr. Spencer meets this definition in every way.
“Dr. Spencer put himself in harm’s way in horrendous conditions to help people he didn’t know. And had he not contracted the Ebola virus himself, few people would have ever heard of him.”
“I am very proud to see the release of Dr. Craig Spencer, a man who is truly a hero,” said NYC Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett. “I applaud the work of Dr. Spencer’s medical team and thank HHC for ensuring that he received the best care available. Our months of planning and preparation have indeed paid off. Although we will remain vigilant, today is another reminder of how truly fortunate we all are to reside in a city with the best pubic hospital system and health department anywhere.”
Dr. Craig Spencer was the ninth individual to be treated for EVD in the United States an the eighth to survive the lethal virus.
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