As Mount Sinai Hospital in New York conducts tests on a traveler from West Africa, the virus may have been less contained than originally thought as a Nigerian doctor apparently has contracted the disease.

Ebola

Mount Sinai Hospital treating a male patient with Ebola symptoms

ABC News is reporting that Mount Sinai Hospital on New York’s Upper East side is treating a male patient who had recently traveled to West Africa and is reporting high fever and gastrointestinal symptoms.  The hospital has placed the patient in strict airborne isolation and is currently undergoing testing to determine the cause of the symptoms.

Separately, the Associated Press is reporting a Nigerian doctor who helped treat Patrick Sawyer, the Liberian-American man who died of the disease, is now being treated.  Tests on three additional medical staff who treated Sawyer and now have shown symptoms of Ebola and underway, according to the report.  Authorities are trying to trace and quarantine others who may have been even closely associated with what is a new and more deadly strain of the Ebola virus.

Discovering symptoms can take as long as 21 days from the point of initial exposure, so identifying potential contaminated patients who may have traveled since their exposure in West Africa could be more complex than initially thought.  Symptoms can include fever, sore throat, muscle pains and headaches, with often nausea, vomiting and diarrhea follow, along with severe internal and external bleeding occurring in advanced stages of the disease, the report noted.

“This fits exactly with the pattern that we’ve seen in the past. Either someone gets sick and infects their relatives, or goes to a hospital and health workers get sick,” Gregory Hartl, World Health Organization spokesman in Geneva, was quoted as saying. “It’s extremely unfortunate but it’s not unexpected. This was a sick man getting off a plane and unfortunately, no one knew he had Ebola.”

How is Ebola virus transmitted?

The virus is transmitted through direct contact with the blood or secretions of an infected person or  exposure to objects (such as needles) that have been contaminated with infected secretions, according to the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Although various Internet publications have been reporting concerns this virus can be transmitted through airborne methods, and this appears to be a new and unstudied strain of the virus, the CDC confirmed to ValueWalk the virus cannot be transmitted via airborne methods only.

“It (Ebola) is not transmitted through the air, water or food,” a CDC spokesperson said.

Facts about Ebola [INFOGRAPHIC]

Facts about Ebola
Source: CDC