9. Bellevue treated New York’s first Ebola patient
Bellevue made national headlines in 2014 when it treated the city’s first Ebola patient, which put the city on edge for a few months. The hospital treated Craig Spencer, who treated Ebola patients in Guinea through Doctors Without Borders and contracted the virus himself before heading back to the U.S. He was placed into isolation at Bellevue as investigators tried to piece together everyone he had contact with in the days prior; he had taken the A and L trains the day before, as well as took a taxi. The virus could not be spread until symptoms began to show, though, and it couldn’t be spread through the air, though the bowling alley he had frequented the night prior remained shut for a day.
In 2019, the hospital conducted an emergency exercise to transport a simulated Ebola patient from Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Jersey to Bellevue’s Regional Ebola and Other Special Pathogen Treatment Center. The experiment was performed in the wake of an Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, resulting in 1,100 cases and 700 deaths. The experiment, whose results could be shared with African nations, tested the feasibility of safe patient transport, including the use of biocontainment devices and personal protective equipment, as well as appropriate decontamination procedures.