NEW ORLEANS -- An American Airlines plane from Miami was held for nearly two hours on the tarmac Monday night at the Armstrong airport after a passenger showed symptoms that some feared could be typhoid fever.
Officials say they have not been able to confirm which illness the passenger in question is suffering from, but multiple passengers told Eyewitness News they had heard from pilots and others on board that this may be typhoid fever.
There were 156 passengers aboard American Flight 1003 from Miami when one of the passengers began vomiting during the flight.
EMS personnel were dispatched to the plane when it landed, and the sick passenger was taken to a local hospital. Officials say they relayed all this information to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and around two hours after the plane landed, the CDC gave the all-clear, allowing the rest of the passengers to leave the plane.
Officials say they haven’t been able to confirm which type of illness is in question, but Dr. Michael Wasserman of the Ochsner Health System said the other passengers were likely unaffected.
“It’s spread by touch pretty much, so it’s not so much that one person breathes on another, but if you touch somebody or if you share foods, that’s the way it spreads,” Wasserman said. “So just being on the plane is not a concern unless you used the restroom and didn’t wash your hands carefully. There, that might be the possibility, or you shook hands with the person who was ill, but other than that I wouldn’t be overly concerned.”
City officials said passengers were told to go home and wash their clothes.