April 27, 2012 / 12:35 AM / 7 years ago

Rash on passenger causes quarantine of plane in Chicago

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Passengers and crew were held for more than two hours on an airplane at Chicago’s Midway Airport on Thursday while a passenger with a rash was checked out for a possible infectious disease, but none was found, authorities said.

The Delta Air Lines flight from Detroit was met by Chicago health and fire officials. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was contacted, after the report of a passenger suffering from “a medical problem,” said city aviation department spokeswoman Karen Pride.

The CDC said the passenger had been in Africa and a family member had reported concerns that the rash could be monkeypox, a rare and potentially deadly viral disease that occurs mostly in central and west Africa.

“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 CDC said.

Pride said the department was notified at about 3:45 p.m. local time that the flight was landing and the passengers and crew were allowed to leave the airplane by about 6:15 p.m. with no one taken to a hospital.

The CDC said the ill passenger was advised to seek medical care and health officials believed there was “very little risk to other passengers.”

Reporting by David Bailey; Editing by Greg McCune

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