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Medicine Transportation Science

Monkeypox Scare Grounds Flight In Chicago 109

Hugh Pickens writes "AP reports that when a Delta Airlines flight touched down at Midway International Airport in Chicago, the passengers looked out the window to see the jet surrounded by fire trucks, police cars and ambulances. Health officials came through the door wearing facemasks and other protective gear. As it turns out the bedbugs that infest hotels appear to be the source of red marks on a 50-year old Minnesota woman that prompted health officials to quarantine the jet for fear they were dealing with something much more serious: monkeypox. Lise Sievers called her mother during a layover in Detroit and told her that one of the children she visited and is trying to adopt in Uganda had some pus-filled red bumps and also mentioned she had some small bumps of her own, a rash that she suspected was the handiwork of bedbugs. Those two very different bumps — one with pus, one without — got jumbled up in Siever's mother's mind, and she called a hospital near her Indiana home to ask about treatment for her daughter. 'She told them her daughter is on a flight back from Uganda and has some red bumps which are pussing and what should she do to treat them,' says Roger Sievers. 'She was looking for some general advice.' Health officials feared they were looking for monkeypox, a rare and sometimes fatal disease mostly in found in central and western Africa. After the passengers waited on the plane for a couple of hours, officials brought good news. 'They came back down and told my mom it was bed bug bites and they started releasing people.'"
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Monkeypox Scare Grounds Flight In Chicago

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  • by ScentCone ( 795499 ) on Saturday April 28, 2012 @10:31AM (#39831655)

    An intelligent response would have been to first verify the symptoms

    Which you would have done how ... by preventing people from leaving the plane until you could check her out, right? Right. That's what they actually did.

    Hell, they could have called the passenger herself to ask about her symptoms.

    So, you're will to risk a big outbreak of a very nasty tropical disease by gambling that the passenger in question will answer her cell phone once they touch down, but before anyone else is allowed to leave the plane, and that if it sounds like the pox in question, that in the five minutes or so you have left before they deplane, you're then going to scramble the authorities to contain the problem?

    consequences which would be unlikely to occur in most other countries

    So, most other countries, finding out that a passenger on an inbound flight from Uganda is exhibiting signs of what could be the highly contagious monkeypox ... just shrug their shoulders? You know that's not true.

The absent ones are always at fault.