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18 October 2014

About 800 Frontier passengers may have been exposed to Ebola virus

CDC Expands Passenger Notification
A nurse who had treated the first US Ebola patient was exposed to the Ebola virus and later contracted the disease. Before she was hospitalized, she had taken the following two airline flights in early October 2014 on Frontier Airlines:

  • October 10th: Fight 1142 from Dallas, TX (DFW) to Cleveland, OH.
  • October 13th: Flight 1143 from Cleveland to DFW.

Several days ago, it was revealed that this passenger had a fever while on the return flight, and may have put others on the aircraft at risk. The CDC and the airline started working together to contact passengers who were on flight 1143 from October 13th in order to interview them and to provide any necessary advice or information.

On Thursday October 16th, the CDC also revealed that they were looking for passengers who were on the earlier flight on October 10th. This is because the infected nurse, who was hospitalized one day after the October 13th flight, may have been exhibiting Ebola symptoms during the earlier October 10th flight.

What should those passengers do?
If you were on either of these Frontier Airlines flights, the CDC suggests that you contact them at the following numbers:

  • 800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636)
  • 800-232-6348 (TTY)
  • 1-404-404-639-3311 (main switchboard)

Were the airplanes contaminated?
It is unclear if the airplanes used on those flights were contaminated with the Ebola virus. According to an October 15th article from the Denver Post, the plane used for flight 1143 was cleaned using procedures that were consistent with CDC guidelines after the October 13th flight, and and again after flying on five additional flights on October 14th.

After Frontier was notified about the infected passenger on October 15th, the aircraft was removed from service. The aircraft has since been cleaned two more times, had its environmental filters changed, and had seat covers and carpets in the vicinity of the infected passenger replaced. The two flight crew and four cabin crew members were placed on paid leave for 21 days. The article did not mention the taken for the aircraft and crew used for flight 1142 on October 10th.

Passengers on other flights may be at risk
While the CDC is only actively seeking out passengers on flights 1142 and 1143, according to another Denver Post from October 16th, Frontier Airlines attempting to contact the roughly 800 passengers who were on the following five flights from October 14th and suggesting that they contact the CDC:

  • Flight 2042, DFW-CLE, departed 7:50 am CDT
  • Flight 1104, CLE-FLL departed 12:13 pm EDT
  • Flight 1105 FLL-CLE departed 3:43 pm EDT
  • Flight 1101 CLE-ATL departed 7:14 pm EDT
  • Flight 1100 ATL-CLE departed 9:57 pm EDT

Related resources
October 15th Denver Post article
October 16th Denver Post article
Ebola and airline travel issues

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