Saturday, 25 October 2014

Ebola Diagnosed in New York, Celebrities React...With Jokes--Check Out What Several Stars Said

Several celebrities reacted with humor to news that a doctor has been diagnosed with Ebola in New York City.

On Thursday, it was revealed that Dr. Craig Spencer, 33, became the fourth person in the United States and the first in the state and the nation's largest city, home to some 8.3 million people and many stars, to test positive in the country for the virus. The news spurred the hashtag #EbolaInNYC to trend on Twitter. More than 4,800 people had died from complications from Ebola, mainly in parts of Africa, during what the World Health Organization has called the worst outbreak of the virus since it was first discovered in 1976.

"Ebola's publicist is doing a good job," 30 Rock alum and comedian Judah Friedlander tweeted on Friday.

Spencer, a volunteer for the humanitarian group Doctors Without Borders, had treated Ebola patients in Guinea, one of the hot zones. He returned to the United States on Oct. 17 and was quarantined at a New York City hospital. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) sent a team to the area, while it was also revealed that after Spencer's return and before he reported symptoms, he rode the subway, took an Uber cab and visited a bowling alley, sparking alarm and frantic tweets among residents and families.

Also, more jokes.

"The NYC Ebola patient went bowling last night. Guarantee he did it intentionally for the twitter puns. #Ebowla #EBowling," tweeted Jason Biggs, who is known for his often-offensive and arguably funny tweets and has stirred controversy in the past with his comments, including in July, when he posted an insensitive message about a deadly Malaysian Airlines plane crash. He later apologized.

Actresses Mia Farrow and Jenny Slate also joked about bowling.

Parks and Recreation star Billy Eichner mentioned Farrow's ex-partner, famous Oscar-winning director and screenwriter and native New Yorker in an Ebola-related tweet.

He also tweeted about his Funny or Die show, which is filmed in New York City.

Eichner also took advantage of another trending topic, sparked by the airing of a popular show, to joke about the virus.

Others, such as Rachael Ray, took to Twitter to express sympathy.

The CDC said on Twitter that Spencer, who was not identified by name, took part in new government-mandated enhanced screening for all returning travelers from West Africa upon his arrival at JFK Airport in New York and "didn't have fever or other symptoms of illness" at the time. The group said he reported to health officials that he had a fever on Thursday. As international panic over the disease continues, the group has also been continuously tweeting facts about Ebola.

"#Ebola is spread by direct contact w/ body fluids of a sick person or exposure to contaminated objects, like needles," the organization tweeted, alongside an infographic.

"There is no reason for New Yorkers to be alarmed," NBC News quoted New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio as saying at a news conference with New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo and medical officials on Thursday. "We've been preparing for months for the threat of Ebola with clear and strong protocols that were scrupulously followed in this instance."

"We were hoping that it didn't happen, but we were also realistic," the governor said. "This is New York. People come to New York. People come to New York's airports."

City Health Commissioner Mary Travis Bassett said the doctor, identified as Spencer, was believed to have come into contact with his fiancée and two close friends, who are also being quarantined and have shown no symptoms.

The other three people who were diagnosed with the virus in the United States are Thomas Eric Duncan, who died on Oct. 8 after being hospitalized at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas after flying in from Ebola-stricken Liberia, his home country, and Amber Vinson, 29, and Nina Pham, 26, two nurses who contracted the virus from him.

Vinson remains in quarantine in Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Georg

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