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NYC doctor diagnosed with Ebola declared virus-free

NEW YORK - Craig Spencer, the New York doctor who was diagnosed with Ebola shortly after his return from treating patients with the disease in West Africa, has been declared free of the virus and is expected to be released from Bellevue Hospital on Tuesday, New York City health officials announced.

Spencer, 33, tested positive for Ebola Oct. 23, six days after his return to New York. His infection sparked a public debate about the degree to which medical workers returning from Ebola-affected areas should be monitored.

Spencer was hospitalized after he noticed a high temperature during the daily self-monitoring. He was taken to Bellevue for treatment, which included antiviral medication and plasma, according to city health officials.

Dallas declared Ebola-free

His infection set off a hunt for any people he may have had during the time between his return to the city and his diagnosis. A Brooklyn bowling alley that he went to before he was hospitalized shut down to decontaminate before reopening to the public.

The others he came into contact with, including his girlfriend, who was also briefly hospitalized, were monitored for symptoms of the disease. She was released from the hospital Oct. 25 to continue self-monitoring at the couple's home. No one else in New York has tested positive for Ebola.

Spencer was the fourth case to be diagnosed in the United States. The first, Liberian national Thomas Eric Duncan, died of the disease in Dallas. Two of his nurses, Nina Pham and Amber Vinson, tested positive last month but were treated and released after several weeks.

The pandemic is affecting six countries in West Africa with more than 13,000 diagnosed cases and 4,818 deaths, according to the World Health Organization.