A woman vomited and exhibited flu-like systems aboard a Los Angeles bound flight from New York, prompting authorities to divert the plane to a remote terminal at LAX out of concern over possible Ebola exposure, but authorities determined there was no threat.
United Airlines flight 703 from JFK International Airport in New York landed at Los Angeles International Airport about 2 p.m. Sunday and the plane was then diverted to remote gate 201, according to airport police Sgt. Karla Ortiz.
A unified command system including Los Angeles Fire Department and county Department of Public Health personnel was set up at the terminal, Ortiz said.
The flight would normally have arrived at Terminal 7, she said.
The sick passenger had been to South Africa, not the area of western Africa where the Ebola virus has killed thousands, and is prone to getting sick on flights, Los Angeles Fire Department Capt. Jaime Moore said. There had been some miscommunications about her travels on the vast continent, he said.
The Department of Public Health issues a statement that read, in part: “Public Health staff arrived at the airport quickly to assess the situation, and determined that the patient is not at risk for Ebola Virus Disease (Ebola). Therefore there is no risk of Ebola infection to any of the passengers or crew on the flight. All necessary actions were taken in transporting the patient, assessing the patient’s travel history and symptoms, and providing appropriate medical care.”
The plane’s passengers were later bused to Terminal 7, according to a witness.
Moore said all procedures set out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were followed.
Another incoming passenger, who had been in Liberia, also was isolated at LAX last Tuesday.
After three nights at Centinela Hospital in Inglewood, the tests showed no Ebola. That patient walked out of the hospital’s isolation unit Friday night.