• Dr. Craig Spencer Gives His Side Of The Story: U.S. Ebola Survivor

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    In any profession their are risk. For me one profession is battling every day to give us a better chance of living in life, Doctors. One Doctor has faced the trials in life as a proffesional he is Dr. Craig Spencer. Dr. Spencer contacted the visrus while on work. Below is his story and see how a Doctor placed his life on the line in the name of service.

    Many U.S. politicians and media outlets hyped the threat of U.S. cases of Ebola last year, according to a newly written personal account by Dr. Craig Spencer, the last American Ebola patient treated in the United States.

    Spencer contracted the virus while performing aid work at an Ebola treatment center in Guinea, and fell ill days after his return to New York City. He entered Bellevue Hospital on Oct. 23 as New York's first Ebola patient, and spent 19 days there recovering from his infection.

    “Though I didn't know it then — I had no television and was too weak to read the news — during the first few days of my hospitalization, I was being vilified in the media even as my liver was failing and my fiancee was quarantined in our apartment,” Spencer wrote in a letter in the Feb. 26 New England Journal of Medicine.

    While he was in the hospital, media outlets hyped the potential threat of Ebola and criticized Spencer for going out into the city after his return, he wrote. At the same time, politicians used the virus seemingly to score election-season points with voters by enacting poorly considered quarantines.

    While he found the high-pressure work rewarding, Spencer felt profound relief when he left Guinea following his tour of duty. He remembers “the calm that settled over me the last time I left the center, knowing that I'd no longer be exposed to Ebola.”

    But while he struggled in the hospital, the outside world picked over his daily activities since his return from West Africa and criticized him for moving freely about, Spencer said.

    The media gave scant attention to the fact that all available evidence on Ebola “suggested that it was nearly impossible for me to have transmitted the virus before I had a fever,” he wrote.

    At the same time, the governors of New York and New Jersey implemented strict home quarantine rules that demonized workers fighting the raging epidemic and acted counter to the best public health practices, Spencer wrote.

    Spencer pointed out that society needs to have faith in the science-based infection-control protocols developed by public health professionals because those protocols have worked. He noted that the protocols worked for him because he didn't infect anyone. And, those protocols have “worked for hundreds of my colleagues who have returned from this and past Ebola outbreaks without infecting anyone,” he added.

    Dr. Amesh Adalja, a senior associate at the UPMC Center for Health Security in Baltimore, said that Spencer's letter “makes an important point that bears repeating: decision making must be based on scientific evidence and not driven exclusively by fear.”

    Adalja added, “It was unfortunate that Dr. Spencer was vilified, not because of any risk he actually posed, but due to endorsement of unwarranted fear by policymakers and many in the media.”

    Despite the risks and hardships, Dr. Spencer wrote, treating Ebola patients was cathartic. “Every day, I looked forward to putting on the personal protective equipment and entering the treatment center,” he wrote. “No matter how exhausted I felt when I woke up, an hour of profuse sweating in the suit and the satisfaction I got from treating ill patients washed away my fear and made me feel new again.”

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