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Bellevue Staff Consumed With Ebola Care, Transfers ICU Patients To NYU Langone

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Bellevue Hospital Center has been forced to transport its intensive care unit patients two blocks north to NYU Langone Medical Center, as the staff at the Bellevue ICU are consumed with Ebola care.

NYU Langone accepted two adult patients over the weekend from the Bellevue ICU, and was expecting to take two more pediatric ICU patients later Monday. The hospitals campuses are located about two blocks apart on the East Side of Manhattan.

"These recent transfers will help alleviate some of the demand on Bellevue's critical care staff as they focus on current patient care issues," the hospitals said in a joint statement.

EXTRA: More On Ebola From The CDC

Ian Michaels of the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation emphasized that the issue was one of staffing.

"It's not to free up space. It's to free up staff," Michaels told CBS 2. "All the staff working with the Ebola patient are from the ICU."

New York City's first confirmed Ebola patient, Dr. Craig Spencer of Hamilton Heights, has been in isolation at Bellevue since last week.

The Doctors Without Borders doctor remained in serious, but stable, condition as of Monday. He was hospitalized Thursday after coming down with a fever and gastrointestinal distress six days following his return from treating Ebola patients in Guinea.

A 5-year-old boy was also taken to Bellevue Monday after showing signs of the disease. He later tested for the virus.

An ambulance crew in full hazmat gear brought the boy to Bellevue late Sunday night out of an abundance of caution. The New York City Health Department said he had been in West Africa in the past 21 days.

"The child was showing some signs of an illness," Mayor Bill de Blasio told reporters, including WCBS 880's Rich Lamb and 1010 WINS' Juliet Papa. "Not clear what the illness was. We did the cautious thing and brought the child in under the full protocol."

The boy had been visiting family in Guinea for about a month and flew back to the U.S. on Saturday, CBS 2's Ilana Gold reported.

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