Dr. Craig Spencer, the third person diagnosed with Ebola in the US and first in New York City, did in fact take an Uber ride just a day before testing positive for the virus.
Uber confirmed this in a statement, saying that it’s sure that neither the driver nor any passenger who later rode in said car are at any risk.
“We reviewed our records and were able to confirm that one of our driver partners in New York provided a ride to the patient yesterday evening. We immediately contacted the CDC and NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYC DOHMH), which stated that neither our driver partner nor any of his subsequent passengers are at risk. We have communicated this to the driver, and the NYC DOHMH medical team met with the driver in person, assuring him that he is not at risk. Our thoughts are with the patient and his loved ones,” said Uber.
33-year-old Spencer came back from Guinea eight days ago after a stint aiding in the humanitarian crisis with the group Doctors Without Borders. It wasn’t until Thursday that Spencer became symptomatic and was taken to an isolation area at Bellevue Hospital. The night before, Spencer took an Uber ride to a bowling alley. He’s also reported to have ridden the subway, and possibly visited a restaurant.
Although the Uber driver and any passengers in the New York City area who called a ride that night are no doubt concerned, officials say there’s no risk of infection as Spencer wasn’t yet symptomatic at the time of his ride.
Though Ebola is a very serious disease, the most threatening thing facing the nation right now is fearbola. You have a much better chance of dying in a plane crash, a lightning strike, or even a bee sting than you do of dying from Ebola.
If you want to worry about a disease right now – make it the flu. The flu kills thousands of otherwise healthy Americans every year. Go get a flu shot. Hey, maybe Uber will bring you one.
Image via Uber, Facebook