Officials: Patient that sparked scare at Charlotte hospital had - WDAM - TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports

Officials: Patient that sparked scare at Charlotte hospital had Malaria

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

County health officials say they know more about a patient who sparked a health scare at a major Charlotte hospital, resulting in a section of the emergency room being blocked off.

According to officials, a patient arrived at Carolinas Medical Center Emergency Department on Tuesday evening after visiting a country known for high risk of infectious diseases.  Hospital officials say the person had been traveling in Africa.

"We took all appropriate infection control measures to protect patients, staff, and visitors," hospital officials told WBTV.

The hospital had blocked off a hallway in the emergency room area of the hospital for several hours.

"After consulting with the Centers for Disease Control and NC Department of Health and Human Services, it appears the risk for communicable disease is low," hospital officials said.

Officials say they do not need to do any additional testing and the patient will be sent home.

Mecklenburg County health officials told WBTV that preliminary tests indicated the patient tested positive for Malaria.

Final results are expected to be reported to the health department by Carolinas Medical Center within seven days.

"It's important to let viewers know malaria is NOT transmitted person to person and that the general public should not be concerned by a positive diagnosis," health officials urged. "Health Department sees close to half dozen cases reported each year."

Medic officials said the blocked hallway did not impact ambulances getting to and from the hospital.  Patients were treated in the emergency room the entire time.

WBTV contacted the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services about the incident at the hospital.

"Since we were first informed of this situation early this morning, DHHS' Division of Public Health has been in close contact with Carolinas Healthcare System, the Local Health Department and the CDC," officials said. 

"The clinical care team and public health officials have reviewed the case in great detail and have determined that the patient's illness and epidemiologic information are NOT consistent with Ebola infection."

State officials say Ebola testing will not be performed.

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