New Jersey Woman Gets Quarantined, But Thankfully Tests Negative for Ebola
Only a day after New York and New Jersey issued a mandatory quarantine for anyone coming from Africa who might've come into contact with Ebola, a New Jersey woman was put into isolation after she developed a fever. Luckily, initial tests are suggesting that she does not have Ebola — still, she will stay in mandatory quarantine for the next 21 days, and will likely have to be tested again, authorities have said.
The woman — a 30-year-old nurse who hasn't been named, but who the Wall Street Journal says treated Ebola patients in Sierra Leone — arrived in Newark Liberty International Airport on Friday, having flown in from Brussels. Though she didn't show any symptoms upon arrival, she developed a fever soon after and was immediately taken to New Jersey's Ebola treatment facility at University Hospital in Newark. On Saturday morning, officials said that initial tests for the virus had been negative, but that they'd be keeping her under isolation for the next three weeks regardless. Said a New Jersey Department of Health statement:
Physicians at University Hospital continue to monitor the patient and consult with the Department of Health and the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] on patient evaluation and any potential need for additional testing.
The nurse is the first traveler to be quarantined under the new guidelines set out by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The stepped up precautions come as a reaction to Manhattan physician Craig Spencer testing positive for the Ebola earlier this week; now, travelers coming from West Africa will have to be quarantined — whether they like it or not — if there's any chance they came into contact with an Ebola-infected patient. Those considered “high risk” will be closely monitored at a government-regulated facility. Already, Spencer's fiance and two of his friends have been also been quarantined.
Other precautions have included closing off the bowling alley Spencer went to and cordoning off his apartment in Harlem; health officials have also been sifting through all the people Spencer may have spent time with who might be at risk. Still, all these measures are really just extra safeguards. As Mayor Bill de Blasio reminded residents:
There is no cause for alarm. Ebola is an extremely hard disease to contract. There is no reason for New Yorkers to change their daily routines in any way.
Sensible words, but you just know twenty New Yorkers are frantically putting together DIY hazmat suits at home. Images: Getty Images (2)