On Thursday, officials announced that a doctor who recently returned to New York City from treating Ebola patients in Africa became is the first person in the state to test positive for the virus.
Lawmakers and health officials explained how they plan to prevent the spread of the disease. They also explained that Ebola is not easily transmitted (it can only be spread by direct contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person, not through air or water), in an effort to ensure that public fears relating to the disease do not become hysteria.
Gov. Cuomo outlined the state’s response to the first positive test for the disease. He said that all 200 hospitals in the state are prepared if someone walks in with Ebola-like symptoms, and that eight hospitals throughout the state are designated for intensive treatment of Ebola patients.
“As we learn about the first positive Ebola Case in New York City, I want to assure New Yorkers that we are prepared. Over the past few weeks we have undertaken a thorough and coordinated effort alongside all relevant partners, from healthcare workers to the local and federal governments, in order to implement the appropriate precautions.”
On Friday, Gov. Cuomo and New Jersey Gov. Christie announced that airports in both states will increase screening of travelers arriving from foreign countries, and that medical personnel who are returning from Ebola-stricken countries to New York or New Jersey will be automatically quarantined.