UDPATE: CDC is not using the term ‘quarantine’ for this aircraft incident.
Delta Flight 3163 was quarantined at a gate at Midway International Airport on Thursday afternoon. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) was holding a Delta Airlines aircraft at the gate Thursday afternoon while analyzing a report that a female with a rash and possible contagious disease was onboard the aircraft.
The aircraft arrived at Midway International Airport at 3:36 p.m. CDT Thursday after departing from Metro Airport in Detroit, Michigan at 3:29 p.m. EDT. As of about 5:50 p.m. CDT Thursday, the aircraft was at the gate, but the jetway was not connected to the aircraft.
Passengers were allowed to leave the Canadair Regional Jet aircraft at about 6:10 p.m. CDT after the jetway and aircraft were connected. Forty-three passengers were onboard. The aircraft is capable of being configured with up to 78 seats.
Witnesses reported two Chicago Fire Department paramedics boarded the aircraft first, and then CDC officials in personal protective suits boarded the aircraft.
Subject: CDC Response to Sick Passenger on Delta Plane in Chicago
CDC received a report earlier this evening of a passenger on a plane at Midway Airport who had a rash. Since the passenger had been in Africa, a family member had reported concerns that the rash might be monkeypox. The passenger was evaluated by Chicago Emergency Medical Services. Medical staff at CDC and the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) reviewed the case and, based on the patient’s symptoms and photographs of the rash, it does not appear that the signs and symptoms are consistent with a monkeypox infection. The ill passenger was advised to seek medical care and the rest of the passengers were released from the plane. CDC and CDPH believe there is very little risk to other passengers. However, out of an abundance of caution, the airline will be collecting contact information for other passengers should CDC need to contact them in the future.
— Centers for Disease Control (April 26, 2012)
The CDC has apparently declared that the subject with the rash did not have a contagious disease. The female with the rash was originally reported by some media sources as a ‘male’ from Ghana or Uganda. The subject’s native country has not yet been confirmed.
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