'Ebola airport protocols should be tougher' claims US congressman after passenger allegedly dies on plane to New York

Man was allegedly vomiting on the flight before he died

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The Independent US

A US congressman is calling for tougher protocols in dealing with suspected Ebola cases after a “vomiting” man on a flight from Nigeria to New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport allegedly died before the plane landed.

In a letter addressed to the US Department of Homeland Security, Republican Peter King described an incident where the man, who had reportedly boarded a flight from Lagos, was taken ill on Wednesday night.

The passenger began vomiting and died before the flight landed, the New York Post reports.

The flight crew contacted the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the federal customs officials and Port Authority police, who met the plane when it landed at 6am on Thursday morning. 

A “cursory” exam by the CDC found the man was not thought to have Ebola, Mr King told the Post.

“The CDC went on the plane, examined the dead body and said the person did not have Ebola,” he said. “It was what I was told a cursory examination.”

Mr King voiced his concern over the “cursory” exam used to determine that the deceased man did not have Ebola.

In a letter to the Department of Homeland Security, Mr King addressed what he described as “apparent on-going vulnerabilities” at JFK International Airport.

He said it was vital that more training is provided to individuals, police and border patrol officials as well as implementing protocols, “should an infected passenger transit the airport”.

Mr King wrote: “Given the high volume of travellers at JFK, it is essential that extraordinary measures are taken to intercept possible Ebola-infected passengers.

“It is my understanding that a plane from Nigeria landed at JFK today with a passenger who passed away on route.

“Based on what I know of this situation, I have very serious concerns about the cursory exam conducted by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) official to determine the passenger did not have Ebola, as well as the lack of instructions provided to CBP and PANYNJ Police handling the remains and the remainder of the passengers.”

The JFK Airport and CDC have not yet responded to the claims.

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