Monday’s quarantine of a United Emirates flight at Logan Airport was proof that the fear level of an Ebola outbreak in the United States is on the rise and no one is taking chances.
After several passengers on United Emirates Flight 237 began to exhibit Ebola-like symptoms the plane was cornered off on the tarmac and public health officials in hazmat suits boarded the plane to remove the sickly passengers.
On Tuesday the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) released a statement saying that after discussions with its partner hospitals Boston Medical Center and Massachusetts General Hospital, the BPHC’s Infectious Disease Bureau has determined that the patients who arrived on the flight did not meet the criteria for any infections of public health concern, including Ebola, meningococcal infection, or MERS.
“As always, our priority is the safety and health of the Boston community,” the BPHC said. “We consistently work through a number of channels to ensure that our network of care providers communicate and are effectively prepared to treat and control the spread of any infectious disease in our City.”
For its part, Massport, who runs Logan released preparedness information for Logan and the Port of Boston relating to the Ebola outbreak at a press conference with representatives from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, BPHC, Massachusetts State Police, and Boston EMS.
Logan Airport is not one of the five U.S. airports designated by the Department of Homeland Security for Ebola screenings; however Massport is working with local, state, and federal officials to be prepared.
“Safety and security is our top priority at Massport,” said Massport CEO Thomas Glynn. “As such, we have been coordinating with our partners at the CDC, Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and the Boston Public Health Commission as we continue to be vigilant regarding Ebola and other infectious diseases at Logan Airport and the Port of Boston.”
While Logan Airport has no nonstop or direct flights from West Africa, Massport’s infectious disease protocols include an isolation room, if necessary, and will ensure that any sick passengers receive appropriate medical attention.