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Dr. Spencer Craig, Ebola patient, looking better, hospital official says

Dr. Craig Spencer, shown on his LinkedIn profile,

Dr. Craig Spencer, shown on his LinkedIn profile, treated Ebola patients in Guinea and was brought to Bellevue Hospital Center in Manhattan, where he tested positive for the virus on Oct. 23, 2014. Photo Credit: LinkedIn

Bellevue Hospital Center officials were upbeat Sunday about the condition of Ebola patient Dr. Craig Spencer.

In a statement released Sunday afternoon at the hospital, where Spencer, 33, has been since Thursday when he was brought from his West Harlem apartment, Dr. Ram Raju, president of New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation, said: "The patient looks better than he looked yesterday."

Nevertheless, he said Spencer, who returned to New York on Oct. 17 from Guinea, where he had treated Ebola patients as a volunteer with Doctors Without Borders, "remains in serious but stable condition."

Mayor Bill de Blasio -- who along with first lady Chirlane McCray Sunday toured Bellevue's floor where Spencer is being treated -- said he had spoken with Spencer by phone Saturday for about 10 minutes and was struck by his sense of humor.

"He's truly a hero," de Blasio said. "He's an incredibly humble human being and someone I look forward to spending time with when he makes his recovery."

Raju said he talked Sunday with Spencer and the doctors and nurses who have been treating him.

"He tolerated the plasma treatment well and had a good night sleep," Raju said, referring to blood plasma Spencer has received along with antiviral medications.

The therapies have been used at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta and Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, both of which have high-level biocontainment units where previous Ebola patients have been successfully treated.

Bellevue's chief medical officer, Dr. Nathan Link, said Spencer, an emergency physician at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center trained in international emergency health, was participating in the decisions about his treatments.

Link said daily conference calls with experts around the country ensure Spencer is getting the best treatment.

"I think it's fair to say that if any treatment is available in the world, it's available to our patient," Link said.

Raju said that "from his first day here, he [Spencer] expressed gratitude with the care he is receiving under the watchful eye of the dedicated, well-trained and professional team of ICU physicians and nurses who are exclusively assigned to his care."

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