[UPDATE BELOW] A man was admitted to Mount Sinai Hospital last night with a "high fever and gastrointestinal symptoms" and is now in isolation awaiting the results of an ebola test. It's probably nothing, so no need to carjack a Hummer and gun it upstate just yet (at least give us a couple of hours head start).
— Josh Sternberg (@joshsternberg) August 4, 2014
The unidentified man recently returned from "an Ebola afflicted West African country." Mount Sinai hospital is now on a "level 2 (HICS) alert." The hospital's statement says "all necessary steps are being taken to ensure the safety of all patients, visitors and staff. We will continue to work closely with federal, state and city health officials to address and monitor this case, keep the community informed and provide the best quality care to all of our patients.”
The virus has killed 887 people so far, according to the World Health Organization, and over 1,600 people have been infected with the disease. People exposed to the virus can take up to 21 days to exhibit any symptoms, "making it possible for infected travelers to enter the U.S. without knowing they have it," ABC reports.
Ebola is not an airborne virus, so you can't get it from breathing, and it is not transmitted through casual contact. According to the CDC, the virus is spread through contact with the blood or secretions of an infected person and exposure to objects (such as needles) that have been contaminated with infected secretions.
Mount Sinai has declined to say when they'll announce the test results. But there's this, from the Times:
Ian Michaels, a spokesman for the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation, said that another patient was isolated at a hospital in the city last week after arriving on a flight from West Africa and showing symptoms found in Ebola patients.
That man was screened at Kennedy International Airport on Wednesday night and taken to Bellevue Hospital. He had a fever, but within a day the fever had gone away and it became clear that he did not have Ebola. Mr. Michaels did not know the details of the tests performed on the man.
Update: At a press conference, hospital officials said "the Health Department has concluded that the patient is unlikely to have Ebola." We now return to your regularly scheduled programming: