Port of New Orleans Ebola Scare False Alarm

Three crew members from Liberia-flagged cargo vessel Marine Phoenix were transferred to a hospital by US health officials and coast guard after the ship docked in Belle Chasse, Port of New Orleans on Wednesday, September 17th.

The ill crewmembers were feared to had been infected by Ebola since the vessel’s itinerary included calls to West Africa, hit by an outbreak of the Ebola virus.

The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) confirmed a positive test result Wednesday evening for malaria in the patient being treated at a New Orleans-area hospital.

DHH said it had shared this information with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local officials.

“The other two patients had mild symptoms and are being assessed. Another ill crew member disembarked in the Bahamas two days ago, where he was diagnosed with malaria and later died,” DHD said.

Malaria is spread by mosquitoes and does not spread from person to person. Approximately 1500-2000 cases are reported every year in the United States, almost all in recent travelers.

So far, there have been no crew members infected by Ebola.

World Maritime News Staff, September 18, 2014; Image: CDC

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