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Patient at Bellevue Hospital tests negative for Ebola

Posted at 2:01 PM, Nov 20, 2014
and last updated 2014-11-20 18:41:01-05

MANHATTAN (PIX11) -- An individual at Bellevue Hospital who recently traveled to West Africa has tested negative for Ebola, officials said Thursday.

The unidentified patient recently came to the United States from Mali, a country with limited Ebola transmission.

According to the New York City Health Department, the patient saw a private doctor affiliated with Interfaith Medical Center. The patient didn't go to Interfaith's emergency department or urgent care. It is unclear if the patient had symptoms at the time of the doctor's visit.

"This morning, the New York City Department of Health notified Interfaith Medical Center than an individual was seen on Monday, Nov. 17th by his private physician in the physician's private office located on the hospital's campus and that individual was taken today to Bellevue," Interfaith Medical Center said in a statement.

"Interfaith has put in place all policies, procedures and protocols required by the New York City and State Departments of Health for all New York hospitals to protect patients and staff and has been following up with Bellevue and appropriate authorities as warranted in these circumstances."

Dr. Craig Spencer, who was the city's only Ebola patient, recently left Bellevue Hospital after weeks of battling the virus. Spencer contracted the virus while working in Guinea with the humanitarian group Doctors Without Borders in September.

“My early detection, reporting and now recovery from Ebola speaks to the effectiveness of the protocols that are in place for health staff returning from West Africa,” said Dr. Spencer during a news conference on the day of his release.

Although the test is negative, the patient will remain in isolation and will have further Ebola tests in the coming days to confirm the negative result, the Health Department said.