Connecticut residents react to latest Ebola findings
NEW HAVEN – The threat of Ebola is a lot closer to home for Connecticut residents, now that the Centers for Disease Control confirmed a doctor in New York is infected with the deadly virus.
On Friday, a health care worker quarantined in New Jersey developed a fever. The person had treated Ebola patients in West Africa, according to officials.
Despite the news, thousands of Metro-North riders from Connecticut hopped on trains headed toward the Big Apple.
“The only concern I have is the Ebola breakout. I’m really nervous about that with people on the train, so I have my hand sanitizer in both bags,” said Kimbly Buffond, waiting for a Union Station train to Grand Central Station.
Doctors at New York’s Bellevue Hospital are treating the patient who tested positive for Ebola, Dr. Craig Spencer. He worked with Ebola patients in Guinea through the organization Doctors Without Borders and returned home recently.
Health officials said Spencer traveled on the subway shortly before his Ebola diagnosis.
“It’s going to come to Connecticut, I know it. I can feel it,” said Debra Rich, who was taking the train from New Haven to Milford. “All someone has to do is sneeze and emit particles of saliva into the air.”
New York’s Mayor Bill de Blasio tried to allay fears at a news conference.
“There is no cause for alarm,” de Blasio said.
He urged people who live, work and play in New York City to follow their normal routine.
“New Yorkers who have not been exposed to an infected person’s bodily fluids are simply not at risk,” de Blasio said.
Additionally, officials emphasize that they believe Spencer wasn’t contagious when he was out in the public.
Meanwhile, New York and New Jersey’s governors announced additional screening protocols at JFK and Newark airports that include mandatory quarantines of anyone who treats Ebola patients in West Africa.
“We will establish an interview and screening process to determine an individual’s risk level by considering the geographic area of origin and the level of exposure to the virus. Depending on the risk level a person could require mandatory 21-day quarantine,” said Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY).
While some Connecticut residents remain nervous, others aren’t letting Ebola ruin a Friday night.
“I’m actually going to meet my son and have dinner and come back,” said Hally Fuentes, waiting for the Grand Central-bound train. “I figured that the government has it under control right now.”
Connecticut currently has 9 people quarantined for fear of Ebola surfacing. More on that story here.
As of Friday night, none of those people are sick, according to Bill Gerrish from Connecticut’s Department of Public Health.