Five people aboard a United Arab Emirates flight from Dubai to Boston were taken to the hospital with flu-like symptoms after landing at Logan Airport amid the growing fear of the Ebola epidemic, the Boston Globe reported Monday. None of the five sick people had traveled to West Africa where the virus has killed more than 4,000. Out of caution, however, airport officials chose to isolate the ill Flight 237 passengers and test them for the dangerous infection.
The flight was held on the tarmac for more than two hours while a HAZMAT crew swarmed outside of the plane and then boarded it. Boston Fire and EMS later entered the plane and escorted the ill travelers who wore masks, Mashable reported.
“One of them was kind of sick, so they were checking for symptoms, checking what their temperature was, and stuff like that,” a passenger told the Globe.
Two of the passengers who had fevers were taken to Boson Medical Center, said David Procopio, a State Police spokesman. The other three, who did not have fevers but exhibited other flu-like symptoms, were taken to Massachusetts General Hospital, Procopio said. The rest of the passengers were to go through customs.
It’s unclear if the five sick passengers were traveling together before they boarded the plane.
The Dallas nurse who treated Thomas Eric Duncan and subsequently became infected with Ebola was identified as Nina Pham Monday. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Thomas Frieden originally said she might have contracted the infection from not following safety protocol, but later apologized for his statement.
Duncan, the first person to be diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S., died Wednesday. Pham is the first person known to have contracted the infection in the U.S.
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