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New York City doctor being tested for Ebola after returning from West Africa

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Updated: Friday, Oct 24,2014, 4:19:51 PM
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A doctor who showed potential symptoms on his return from a recent trip to an Ebola-affected West African nation is being tested for the virus at a New York City hospital, health officials said Thursday.

The doctor, who was identified by local media reports as 33- year-old Craig Spencer, developed fever and gastrointestinal symptoms, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene said in a statement.

The patient, who reportedly worked in Guinea with Doctors Without Borders, returned to the United States within the past 21 days, is being treated at Bellevue Hospital, the health department said.

Twenty-one days is the maximum incubation period for Ebola.

Preliminary test results are expected in the next 12 hours.

"The chances of the average New Yorker contracting Ebola are extremely slim," said the health department, trying to dismiss the growing fear about the spread of the deadly virus. "Ebola is spread by directly touching the bodily fluids of an infected person. You cannot be infected simply by being near someone who has Ebola."

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