While Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person to be diagnosed with the Ebola virus in the U.S., remained hospitalized in Dallas on Wednesday, United Airlines confirmed that Duncan traveled on UA flights for part of his trip. The infected man apparently took at least three flights to get from Liberia to Dallas.
Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Tuesday that other passengers on the plane with Duncan were at no risk of contracting the virus, which is contagious only after symptoms have appeared. United Airlines' statement on the Ebola patient reiterated that the CDC is not concerned about possible infections during the flights.
The airline's statement said the CDC “has informed us that the patient said he flew part of his trip on United'; 'While the CDC states it is unnecessary for it or the airline to contact others who were on the patient's flights, United is providing information about the flights United believes the patient took, based on information provided by the CDC.”
After getting on a plane in Liberia on Sept. 19, the patient's first layover was in Brussels, local news site CBS Dallas wrote. He went from Brussels to Washington Dulles on Flight 951 and then from Washington Dulles he flew to Dallas-Fort Worth on Flight 822.
It is believed Duncan left Liberia on Brussels Airlines flight 1247. The CDC would not confirm that, but said it has a “team on the ground that is doing that work and verifying flight information,” Jason McDonald of the CDC told the local news station.
Brussels Airlines provided the following statement to CBS-DFW.
“Concerning your question, Brussels Airlines has not been contacted by the US Centre of Disease Control about this and we don’t have more information related to this case as we are not even aware about the identity of the person. This person had a choice between several transport solutions and airlines. We note that in its official statement the Centre of Disease Control highlights that there is no risk that this person contaminated other passengers as he only developed illness symptoms days after he arrived in the US. For your information: as long as a person has not developed any symptoms, this person is not contagious.
Brussels Airlines is permanently monitoring the situation in the with Ebola confronted countries and is in continuous contact with Belgian and International Health Authorities like the WHO. In addition we take since the beginning of this crisis a number of precautionary measures in order to exclude risks. The WHO and the International Civil Aviation Authorities specifically asked and encouraged Brussels Airlines to continue its flight services to the Ebola-stricken countries in order to assist these countries in their efforts to fight the virus – especially as the risk of contamination is extremely low because it is almost, if not completely, impossible for a passenger with illness symptoms to travel.”
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