Tags: Ebola Outbreak | Homeland Security | Vomiting passenger | Ebola | Arik | airplane | Peter King

CDC: Vomiting Man on Plane Didn't Die of Ebola

By    |   Friday, 17 Oct 2014 02:58 PM

A 63-year-old man who terrified an Arik Air plane loaded with passengers as he died vomiting on a flight from Nigeria to New York Thursday did not die from the deadly Ebola virus, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says.

He died from a heart attack.

The New York Post reported the unnamed passenger died on the flight from Nigeria to JFK Airport after experiencing a vomiting fit.

"The CDC went on the plane, examined the dead body and said the person did not have Ebola," Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., said, The Independent reported. "It was what I was told a cursory examination."

CDC personnel who met the airplane wearing hazmat suits "concluded he died of a heart attack," King told the Daily News, "but Port Authority workers who handled his remains and the other passengers were exposed to this guy. What if he had Ebola?"

The CDC's verdict on the cause of death did not stop King from firing off an angry letter stating that U.S. airports still are not adequately prepared to handle the deadly Ebola epidemic.

In a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, King stated that he has "very serious concerns about the cursory exam conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention official to determine the passenger did not have Ebola as well as the lack of instructions provided to CBP [Customers and Border Protection] and PANYNJ [Port Authority of New York and New Jersey] police handling the remains and the remainder of the passengers."

King also wants visas denied to passengers from Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone until the Ebola outbreak has ended, the Daily News reports.

Fox News reported that the CDC's handling of the remains, before quickly announcing that the man did not have Ebola, "exposed serious flaws in airport preparedness for an Ebola outbreak."

"It has come to my attention that there are between 70-100 individuals per day arriving at JFK from countries impacted by the Ebola outbreak," King wrote. "These individuals transit the airport with the rest of the traveling population, including using the restrooms.

"It is only after they arrive at the CBP primary screening location that they are separated and sent to secondary inspection for a medical check and to complete the questionnaire."

Demanding an "immediate response" by Friday, King asked what protocols are in place to handle symptomatic passengers, whether there are isolation zones in airports to screen passengers suspected of infection, whether CBP officers have training to handle Ebola patients and what cleaning and sanitizing procedures are available.

He notes that he is writing with a "great sense of urgency" about "apparent ongoing vulnerabilities" at JFK Airport.

"Given the high volume of travelers at JFK, it is essential that extraordinary measures are taken to intercept possible Ebola-infected passengers," King wrote.

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A 63-year-old man who terrified an Arik Air plane loaded with passengers as he died vomiting on a flight from Nigeria to New York Thursday did not die from the deadly Ebola virus, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says.
Vomiting passenger, Ebola, Arik, airplane, Peter King
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2014-58-17
Friday, 17 Oct 2014 02:58 PM
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