A South Jersey hospital is back to normal operations after they tested a woman for an illness who recently visited West Africa.
The woman was transported to the Kennedy University Hospital in Stratford, New Jersey around 8 p.m. Tuesday complaining of illness. A spokeswoman told NBC10 the woman had traveled to West Africa earlier in the month and was evaluated in isolation in the hospital's Emergency Department "out of an abundance of caution."
The spokeswoman told NBC10 the hospital tested the woman for malaria and diverted ambulances from bringing in any new patients as the tests continued. The hospital later announced around 1 a.m. Wednesday the divert was lifted and that operations were back to normal. The woman was diagnosed with malaria. Officials say the woman continues to recover and there is no public health risk.
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"She has been diagnosed with a travel-related illness that is not Ebola, and is receiving treatment for this illness," a spokeswoman wrote. "This individual has had no known exposure to Ebola. The hospital took all necessary infection control precautions to protect patients and personnel. Kennedy has been in close contact with Camden County and State Department of Health officials since the time the patient arrived at the hospital."
Shortly after midnight, a Camden County spokesman released the following statement to NBC10 regarding the patient and hospital's procedures.
On Aug. 7, an individual who resides in Gloucester Township, Camden County arrived home from a trip to Western Africa. In accordance with mandated travel surveillance instituted by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the county health department was monitoring this individual twice a day for any symptoms of a communicable disease for 21 days. Last night, at 6:13 p.m. on Aug. 18, the patient exhibited a fever that from a precautionary perspective commissioned a full response by first responders. The patient was then transported to Kennedy Health System in Stratford for further examination. The Gloucester Township EMTs, police department, county Haz-Mat and county health department officials arrived on the scene and followed and exceeded all protocols for the situation. Local, county and state health and emergency management officials are coordinating with medical professionals at Kennedy to ensure the health and welfare of the patient as well as the public. In short, the reporting and monitoring system endorsed by the CDC worked flawlessly and all first responders went above and beyond to follow the prescribed training to handle a possible communicable disease.