A health care worker returning from Sierra Leone who had been quarantined in New Jersey as a suspected Ebola case has been discharged after testing negative for the virus, according to a statement from Hackensack University Medical Center.
The patient, who was not named but was identified as a woman, did not have direct contact with an Ebola patient during the last 21 days. She was admitted to the hospital as a precaution after vomiting and having a fever on United Airlines flight 45 Monday, which traveled from Brussels, Belgium, to Newark, N.J., officials said. Ebola is spread through direct contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person who is showing symptoms. Officials from Hackensack said the patient was monitored overnight for gastrointestinal illness, and doctors determined she did not have Ebola.
According to the statement, the individual will be monitored for 21 days, the maximum incubation period for Ebola, when signs of the virus can appear and be transmitted to other people. Per New Jersey’s policy, the patient will be tracked for signs of Ebola during this time, as are all individuals who are returning from the three West African countries hardest hit by Ebola: Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.
Newark Liberty is one of five airports allowed to receive flights carrying people coming from West Africa.