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Patient at center of New York Ebola scare tells his story

Patient at the center of New York Ebola scare tells his story 01:43

The New York City man who was at the center of an Ebola scare at Mount Sinai Hospital last week is speaking out to CBS New York about the "surreal" experience of being put into quarantine.

Eric Silverman, a 27-year-old Brooklyn resident, tested negative for Ebola last Wednesday. He had been placed into isolation for 72 hours at the hospital after he showed up Monday at the emergency room with a high fever and gastrointestinal problems following a trip to West Africa.

Silverman said he had returned home in mid-July after working in Sierra Leone for several months and did not know during his time there that he had been in an area where Ebola cases had been reported.

Doctors at Mount Sinai didn't think it was likely he had Ebola, but they tested him and placed him in quarantine as a precaution.

"There were two security guards outside of my room, and they were like, 'no one in or out,'" Silverman told CBS2 New York's Matt Kozar in a TV exclusive.

The hospital placed Silverman in isolation within seven minutes from the time he arrived at the emergency room.

"There was one nurse and one doctor, and they had to be fully dressed in the space suits," he said. "They said, 'Take all your clothes off, anything in your pockets.'"

Doctors bagged his clothes and burned his underwear, he said.

Later, while Silverman was watching TV news in his room, he asked the nurse if he was the patient the country was talking about.

"I was like, 'Is that me?' And she said, 'Yes, I'm pretty sure,'" Silverman said.

Out of the hospital and doing better now, Silverman said "I'm still feeling a little weak, still got some stomach issues." He said he has another doctor's appointment Monday and is still trying to find out what made him so ill.

The current Ebola outbreak in West Africa is the largest since the disease first emerged in Africa nearly 40 years ago, and has so far killed more than 900 people.

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