A plane landed in Midland, Texas, Tuesday night and immediately offloaded a sick woman using strict health precautions after she vomited on the flight. The county sheriff said the decision to have the woman transported to the hospital came after some expressed concerns about Ebola.
The hospital where the female passenger was transported ruled out Ebola as a possibility though. The woman didn't have a fever, one of the characteristic symptoms of the viral disease transmitted through bodily fluids, nor had she recently traveled to a West African country impacted by the current outbreak.
Midland Memorial Hospital released a statement Wednesday that confirmed the woman didn't have Ebola.
"After full medical and physical evaluation, it has been determined by medical staff and CDC officials that the patient transferred from Midland International Airport due to illness early Wednesday morning, does not have the Ebola virus. As a reminder, the [two] primary cues that would suggest the potential for this virus are a fever at or above 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit and recent travel to an endemic area where several Ebola cases have been confirmed. Over the course of this event, the patient in question never had a fever nor have they traveled to or from an endemic region," the statement posted on the city's Facebook page read.
Some think more needs to be done by airports and airlines to stop possible Ebola patients from traveling. Gil Mobley, a Missouri doctor, walks to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport to check in and board a plane dressed in full protection gear Thursday morning, Oct. 2, 2014, in Atlanta. He was protesting what he called mismanagement of the crisis by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (AP/Atlanta Journal-Constitution, John Spink)
The woman who was on American Eagle Flight 2791 has traveled through London from Istanbul, Turkey. She then was on the plane from Dallas to Midland, Texas. The hospital's statement said widespread media coverage of the virus lead some people on the plane to express concern about the possibility of the woman's sickness being Ebola.
"All other passengers on the flight were also evaluated and released based on no evidence of questionable medical conditions. Although City, Health Department and Hospital officials have been routinely trained and were fully prepared to manage the potential occurrence of an infectious disease, we are fortunate that the possibility of an Ebola infection in this case has been ruled out," the hospital said.
The U.S. has been on especially high alert for so-called "imported" cases of Ebola after a Liberian man was diagnosed with the virus in Dallas in late September, making him the first patient to be diagnosed in America. On Wednesday, the Dallas hospital said this patient died.
After this case though, health officials have been considering steps to increase airport screening measures and offer other travel-related guidance that could help prevent more cases from coming into the U.S. unknowingly.
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