Passenger With Flu-Like Symptoms Causes Ebola Scare At LAX

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Authorities say a passenger with flu-like symptoms, who was on board a United Airlines flight, has been assessed and is not believed to have been exposed to the Ebola virus.

The plane in question, Flight 703, originated from New York’s JFK airport and landed at Los Angeles International Airport at 1:50 p.m. Sunday, according to an airport representative.

There were 142 passengers on board at the time, and six crew-members.

Following reports of an ill patient on an in-bound flight, the Los Angeles Fire Department responded about 1:28 p.m.

According to Airport police Sgt. Ortiz, the patient in question was vomiting and exhibited flu-like symptoms, prompting fears of an Ebola exposure.

Captain Jamie Moore, a public information officer for the LAFD, said at an afternoon news conference that the department responded, and followed protocol set forth by the Centers for Disease Control, after initially being told that the patient had contact with West Africa.

“Due to the concern and the nature of the illness, the Los Angeles Fire Department felt it very important to handle this following the CDC procedures,” Moore said. “It has turned out that there had been some miscommunication. This person had been to the continent of Africa but not near West Africa. As a matter of a fact, it was South Africa.”

According to Moore, the unidentified patient was assessed by both the LAFD and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, and is not believed to have been exposed to the Ebola virus.

Moore said it’s believed the patient had experienced air-sickness.

During the incident, the plane had been diverted to a separate runway in order to prevent unnecessary fear, according to Moore. Initially, crews were seen boarding the plane wearing containment suits.

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