Ebola infected physician Dr. Craig Spencer is reportedly still in isolation at New York’s Bellevue Hospital, receiving anti-viral medications. He has been under quarantine at Bellevue Hospital since Thursday morning.
He received a potentially life-saving blood transfusion on Friday, as reported by New York’s Bellevue hospital, where he is currently receiving treatment for the Ebola Virus. Spencer developed symptoms of the virus last Thursday, when his temperature was recorded at 100.3 degrees. It has since been confirmed by New York Health Department officials that Dr. Spencer has tested positive for the disease, after volunteering for the aid organization Doctors Without Borders. He had previously been treating infected patients in the country of Guinea.
Spencer received a blood transfusion from Ebola survivor Nurse Nancy Writebol. Writebol had been volunteering with the Christian Aid Organization Society for International Ministries (SIM) when she contracted the disease, while caring for infected patients in the outskirts of the capital of Liberia, Monrovia. Writebol has since recovered from her infection, and was treated for Ebola at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, GA.
Writebol, an American Missionary Nurse for SIM, had been treating infected persons and was working with another recently cured Ebola patient, Dr. Kent Brantly in the suburbs of Monrovia, Liberia. Brantly developed symptoms first, and was flown from Liberia to the United States to receive treatment on Aug.2.
The Ebola infection that landed Dr. Spencer in isolation at Bellevue was contracted when Spencer was volunteering for Doctor Without Borders, a humanitarian aid group. He had been assigned to treat infected patients in an impromptu isolation ward in a small town in Guinea, on the border with Liberia.
Writebol developed symptoms of the Ebola virus soon after Brantly, and was flown back to the U.S. three days later on Aug. 5. Both were treated at Emory University Medical Center in Atlanta, GA. Both Brantly and Writebol received an experimental drug during their treatment at Emory Hospital, a drug called ZMapp. Both have been cured and have since been released.
Mapp Biopharmaceuticals, headquartered in San Diego, CA manufactures ZMapp. All available supplies of ZMapp have been exhausted, according to a company spokesman. The experimental drug was produced under a joint agreement between Mapp Biopharmaceuticals Inc., LeafBio, based in San Diego, CA, Defyrus Inc., based in Toronto, Canada, the U.S. government and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC).
ZMapp is such a new and experimental Ebola drug, that when it was pressed into use it was still in the animal testing phase of development, and had yet to even be considered for human clinical test trials. Mapp Biopharmaceuticals and its partners have responded to all requests for production of the experimental new drug, and the company has ramped up production of the medicine. Mapp Biopharmaceuticals has indicated that they are collaborating with all the appropriate governmental agencies and regulatory bodies in an effort to produce and distribute ZMapp in a timely fashion.
The New York doctor most recently infected with the Ebola virus continues to be in isolation at NY’s Bellevue hospital while his fiancée is quarantined at their NY apartment awaiting the results of the 21 day incubation period. The addition of the blood transfusion from Nancy Writebol may be the correct medicine that will cure him.
By Jim Donahue