New York health officials test person's remains for Ebola

Reuters News
Posted: Nov 19, 2014 5:40 AM

(Reuters) - New York City health officials said they will test the remains of a person who died of an apparent heart attack on Tuesday for Ebola as the person had recently come to the United States from West Africa.

The person, who was not identified, had been in one of the countries hardest hit by the outbreak just 18 days earlier, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene said in a statement.

"Before death, this individual showed no symptoms of Ebola. However due to travel history within the 21-day incubation period and an abundance of caution, an Ebola test will be performed on this individual's remains," the department said.

The department said results were expected on Wednesday morning.

The New York Times reported that the individual was a woman and that she was pronounced dead at a Brooklyn hair salon at around 2:30 p.m. local time.

Last Tuesday, Dr. Craig Spencer, who worked with Ebola patients in Guinea, was discharged from a New York City hospital after recovering from Ebola following his Oct. 23 diagnosis.

Medical experts say Ebola can be transmitted only through the bodily fluids of a sick person with symptoms.

The World Health Organization on Friday said the Ebola outbreak, which is the deadliest on record, has resulted in 5,177 deaths out of 14,413 cases, mostly in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

(Reporting by Curtis Skinner in San Francisco; Editing by Susan Fenton)