By David Madden
BLACKWOOD, NJ (CBS) — Camden County health officials say a Gloucester Township woman just returned from a visit to West Africa, and has come down ill. But it is NOT a case of Ebola. EMT’s were called in on Tuesday night and Camden County Freeholder Director Lou Cappelli says it’s a good thing they were called.
“The patient established a fever that, from a precautionary perspective, commissioned a full response from first responders,” Cappelli told reporters at a press conference at the county health department offices in Blackwood. “The patient was then transported to Kennedy Hospital System in Stratford and diagnosed with malaria.”
Given the woman’s quick and decisive actions, officials believe she will make a complete recovery.
“I will tell you that it’s curable if it is caught early,” said Claudia Funaro, the county’s Director of Public Health Nursing. “She started presenting a fever and reported it right away. So I’m optimistic about her prognosis.”
Bottom line: there is no risk to the public. “Malaria presents with flu-like symptoms,” Funaro continued. ” The woman was symptomatic with a fever only, did not have any other symptoms, and it is not spread person to person.”
The patient contracted the disease through a bite from an infected mosquito while abroad. County officials credited first responders and special training given last years, when Ebola broke widely in sections of West Africa. It’s thought that training allowed for an orderly and controlled situation for all involved.