The son of a Minnesota woman said that a rash led to a monkeypox scare on a Chicago flight, delaying passengers on their plane for several hours while the woman was evaluated.
Lisa Sievers, 50, was returning home to Minnesota after four months in Uganda. She had adopted two special-needs children and was bringing them to her home to start their life in the United States. Roger Sievers, her biological son who was in the United States, said that his mother was on the phone during the flight, when she described a rash she that she thinks were caused by bed bugs.
Roger said his grandmother called the hospital to make an appointment for her daughter to get the rash inspected.
Somewhere along the way things got confused, Roger Sievers said, reported the Star Tribune. When the plane landed in Chicago after several stops, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notified the plane that a passenger may have contracted monkeypox.
You call a hospital and you say that someone is coming in on an international flight and they have [pus-filled] bumps, then the CDC gets called right away, Roger Sievers said.
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The CDC asked Delta to hold the plane.
CDC received a report earlier this (Thursday) evening of a passenger on a plane at Midway Airport who had a rash, a statement sent out by the CDC reads, reported WXYZ. Since the passenger had been in Africa, a family member had reported concerns that the rash might be monkeypox.
When the plane landed in Midway Airport, the pilot made an announcement that the passengers needed to remain on the plane.
The emergency response team surrounded the plane, Roger Sievers said. Health officials then boarded the plane, wearing face-masks. They surrounded Roger's mother, Lisa. They took photos, and sent them to Washington,
Passengers onboard the plane were extremely concerned about the turn of events.
You're thinking quarantine... it's like something in the movie, passenger Kayla Marie Sander said, reported Fox.
After two hours, Washington reported back to the CDC officials. They determined that bedbugs had bit Lisa. Sievers and the other 42 passengers on board were allowed to leave the plane.
CDC took the names of all the passengers as precaution. Monkeypox is a rare viral cousin of the smallpox virus, reported Fox. In Africa, it kills approximately one in ten percent who contract it. In the United States, there has only been one reported outbreak.
It was all misinformation from a speculative call that my grandmother made, Roger Sievers said. She's just a concerned old lady. As sweet as can be. And she makes a mean banana bread, I can tell you that right now.
Roger said he hopes that despite the incident, some good comes from it.
I hope people see there's an international adoption taking place, he said There are kids coming back from a country to get much needed medical assistance. That's my take on it.