Passenger With Flu-Like Symptoms Prompts Fears Of Ebola Exposure At LAX

(credit: CBS)CBS Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES ( — 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.

The Los Angeles Fire Department responded to LAX about 1:28 p.m. Sunday following reports of an ill patient on an in-bound passenger flight.

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

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.

“Initial reports were that this patient had contact with West Africa,” said Moore. “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 added, “It has turned out that there had been some miscommunication, that 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, described as a female, has been assessed by the LAFD as well as by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

“There is no reason to believe that this person has been exposed to an Ebola virus,” Moore said, adding that it’s believed the patient had experienced air-sickness.

Moore said the plane had been diverted to a separate runway in order to prevent an unnecessary scare.

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