Tags: Coronavirus | coronavirus | los angeles | flights | passengers | cdc

Coronavirus Patients Flew to LA Without Passengers Being Warned

passsengers are shown wearing masks in airport check-in line
(Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 15 June 2020 10:26 AM

Passengers on multiple flights to Los Angeles traveled with patients who had been infected with the coronavirus, exposing them to the virus without their knowledge, the Los Angeles Times reports.

One retired surgeon from Manhattan who had contracted COVID-19 flew from New York to Los Angeles in mid-March on a flight carrying 49 passengers and eight crew members. Another flight from Seoul, South Korea in March brought an infected patient along with over 200 passengers, none of whom were alerted that they had traveled with someone carrying the virus.

“Christ,” said Dr. George Rutherford, the former state epidemiologist for California and currently a professor at the University of California, San Francisco. “That’s a problem.”

He added, “I would notify everyone on the flight that they had been exposed. We would encourage them to get tested, and we would do an investigation of the people who were seated most closely ... and make sure they got tested.

The LA county health department told the Times that “In March, whenever Public Health was aware that an individual traveled on an airline while potentially infectious with COVID-19, it notified” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The department noted that officials contacted a CDC office about the flight from Seoul, but contact tracers were unable to reach the retired surgeon who flew from New York for an interview.

However, a spokesperson for the CDC told the LA Times that the Seoul “flight is not in our contact investigation database, and CDC did not receive inquiries about this flight.”

“Any delay in contacting exposed individuals will increase the likelihood of disease spread,” the spokesman said.

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Passengers on multiple flights to Los Angeles traveled with patients who had been infected with the coronavirus, exposing them to the virus without their knowledge, the Los Angeles Times reports.
coronavirus, los angeles, flights, passengers, cdc
271
2020-26-15
Monday, 15 June 2020 10:26 AM
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