Report: ship's crew member has malaria
MARRERO - Four crew members of a Liberian-flagged cargo ship are being treated at a hospital here after becoming ill Wednesday.
A few hours after one crew member arrived at the hospital, WWL TV reported a Jefferson Parish government official said federal health officials informed leaders that the patient was being treated for malaria, and it is not contagious.
Earlier in the day, the ship's crew alerted authorities that people on board had fallen ill. The ship anchored in the Mississippi River south of New Orleans where crew members were removed and rushed to the hospital. A river boat captain was among those who were taken to see doctors.
The ship is last known to have made port in Panama before heading toward Louisiana, according to a state official. It had also stopped near parts of Ebola-ridden Africa.
"A ship coming from a part of the world where there is a big outbreak occurring of Ebola, I think it's appropriate," said Dr. Fred Lopez of the LSU Health Sciences Center concerning the reaction to the ill crew members. Lopez spoke to WBRZ's partner-station in New Orleans, WWL TV.
Health officials from the CDC stated, "there is no evidence to suggest that the crew members traveled to, or had any contact with anyone... where Ebola cases are occurring."
The CDC further stated that the chances are "exceedingly low" that the sick crew have Ebola.