An American air passenger who reportedly screamed “I have Ebola, you are all screwed!” was accosted by men wearing biohazard suits and oxygen masks when the plane landed.
On Wednesday, 255 passengers on U.S. Airways Flight 845 were grounded on the tarmac for two hours after Dominican Republic authorities temporarily quarantined the Boeing 777 plane.
According to Dominican media, the flight was traveling from Philadelphia to Punta Cana when one passenger who was frequently coughing and sneezing made the joke of poor taste.
Passengers took out their cameras and smartphones to record the entire ordeal. One video uploaded onto YouTube shows a flight attendant attempting to calm frantic travellers, saying that the situation “looks worse than it really is.”
“I’ve done this for 36 years. I think the man that has said this is an idiot, and I’ll say that straight out,” the flight attendant added.
As the man was being escorted down the aisle towards the exit, he said “I ain’t from Africa. Sh*t.” After extensive medical exams at a detainment facility in Punta Canta International Airport, it was determined that the man had the flu.
Symptoms for Ebola may include nausea, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, red eyes, raised rash, chest pain, cough, stomach pain, severe weight loss and bleeding from the eyes. When near death, individuals may bleed from the ears, nose and rectum.
“We are following the direction of, and strictly adhering to, all Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines in place for airlines in response to the Ebola virus,” read a statement released by U.S. Airways. “The flight was checked by officials and cleared. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused, but the safety of our customers and employees is our first priority.”
Despite assurances by public health officials around the world, fears over Ebola have increased drastically over the past week, especially after the recent death in the United States.
Nearly 4,000 people have died in West Africa from the outbreak, which has a death rate of 70 per cent according to the World Health Organization.
On Wednesday, Canadian health officials announced that they are now conducting Ebola screenings at the nation’s six largest airports, including Vancouver International Airport.
Feature Image: YouTube screencap