A sick passenger on Sunday prompted an Ebola scare at LAX, the airport's second false alarm inspired by the deadly virus this month.
In this case, authorities say a woman on a United Airlines flight from New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport had been to Africa and displayed flu-like symptoms.
Further investigation revealed, however, that …
… her symptoms were the result of motion sickness, and that her time on the African continent was spent in South Africa, which is not one of the nations affected by Ebola.
Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Erik Scott said first responders were called to the plane at 1:28 p.m. Sunday. It turned out that the woman “frequently experiences” motion sickness on flights, he said.
Before first responders realized they had a false alarm on their hands, though, they took the matter quite seriously.
The flight was reportedly pushed to the international terminal and then to a remote terminal. Firefighters wore hazmat suits “and set up a decontamination area in the event it was needed,” Scott said.
Authorities “made contact with the patient via an intercom,” he said. The disease-control cavalry was called, Scott said:
Further assessment was needed to determine if the patient had been exposed to the Ebola Virus Disease (Ebola), therefore a Unified Command was established between LAFD, LAWA, LAWA Airport Police, LA County Public Health, CDC, and the FBI.
The woman was released at the scene and was seen waiting for a ride at a terminal curb as another traveler helped her hide her face from cameras.
Authorities now say there was never any risk for crew, LAX workers or fellow passengers, who were later bused to terminal 7.