LAFD Examines Ill Passenger at LAX; Not at Risk for Ebola

Sunday, October 12, 2014

LOS ANGELES - The Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) responded to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) at 1:28 PM for a reported ill patient aboard an inbound flight.

The patient exhibited symptoms that could possibly require transport to a local hospital and having been questioned by aircraft personnel the patient stated they recently had been to Africa. Per protocol established by the LAFD, CDC, LA County Public Health, the aircraft was quickly diverted to a separate terminal to eliminate possible exposure to others, and to eliminate unnecessary fears of people at LAX. 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.

LAFD followed established procedures and placed firefighters in Hazardous Material Suits and set up a decontamination area in the event it was needed. LAFD Incident Commanders made contact with the patient via an intercom and were able to determine that the patient had been to South Africa not West Africa, and was exhibiting symptoms of motion sickness of which the patient frequently experiences when flying. Through a series of questions the LAFD and Public Health Officials determined that the patient was not at risk for Ebola. Therefore, there was no risk of Ebola infection to any of the passengers or crew on the flight. The patient declined transport to the hospital and was encouraged to follow up with their personal physician.

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For more information about Ebola, call 2-1-1 for the LA County Information Line, or visit the Public Health website at

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