With New York doctor's release, U.S. is Ebola free

President Barack Obama gestures while speaking at an event with American health care workers fighting the Ebola virus, Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014, in the East Room of the White House in Washington.
NEW YORK — Forty-one days after a Liberian man in Texas was diagnosed with Ebola, there are currently no known people infected with Ebola in the United States.
"After a rigorous course of treatment and testing, Dr. Craig Spencer –- the patient admitted and diagnosed with Ebola Disease Virus at HHC Bellevue Hospital Center -– has been declared free of the virus," NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation announced in a statement Monday evening. "Dr. Spencer poses no public health risk and will be discharged from the hospital tomorrow, Tuesday, November 11th," it said.
The news was first reported by the New York Times.
Spencer was admitted to Bellevue hospital on Oct. 23 and tested positive shortly thereafter, becoming the first in New York to be diagnosed with the virus. He had recently returned from Guinea where he treated Ebola patients with Doctors Without Borders when he became ill, and promptly isolated himself in his apartment.
His release follows the news that Kaci Hickox, a Maine nurse who successfully fought her quarantine orders after returning to the U.S. from West Africa, has passed her 21-day at-risk period and will soon leave Fort Kent to decide on her next move, she told the AP.
A total of four people were diagnosed with the virus in the United States in the country's first-ever outbreak. It began on Sept. 30 when Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian man who traveled to Texas, was diagnosed with the disease. Two nurses — Amber Joy Vinson and Nina Pham — contracted the virus from him, leading the Centers for Disease Control to update its guidelines for health care workers.
Five others were evacuated to the U.S. from Africa.
All of the patients in the U.S. except Duncan recovered. He died on Oct. 8.
Amber Vinson, Vince Dollard

Nurses applauded after Amber Vinson, second from left, was discharged from Emory Hospital in Atlanta. She was treated for Ebola after contracting it from the Dallas patient.
While there are no current cases of Ebola in the U.S., the World Health Organization will likely wait until 42 days have passed and all contacts being traced are declared free of the virus to give the all clear. "For WHO to declare an Ebola outbreak over, a country must pass through 42 days, with active surveillance demonstrably in place, supported by good diagnostic capacity, and with no new cases detected," the WHO recently explained.
More than 13,000 confirmed, probable and suspected cases of Ebola have been reported in a total of six affected countries (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Sierra Leone, Spain and the United States) and two previously affected countries (Nigeria and Senegal) through Nov. 2, 2014, according to the WHO.
There have been nearly 5,000 reported deaths. Three countries — Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone — have suffered the vast majority of them.
This post was updated at 6 p.m. ET to include information about the WHO's declaration period.

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