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Ebola “Joke” Quarantines US Airways Flight

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After a passenger sneezed onboard a US Airways flight and announced that he had Ebola, health officials quarantined the plane for more than two hours.

There are certain topics that are never funny to joke about on a flight. It’s a well-known fact that any declarations about terrorism, guns, bombs or hijackings, even they’re made in jest, will draw very swift and serious response from authorities.

Jokes about Ebola can now be added to the list of things that aren’t funny in-flight.

An unidentified 53-year-old man on US Airways Flight 845 from Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) to Punta Cana International Airport (PUJ) learned this lesson the hard way on Wednesday. According to reports from Dominican Diario Libre, the passenger sneezed and loudly proclaimed: “I have Ebola, you are all screwed.”

The man was apparently making a bad joke, but upon landing in Punta Cana, the plane was held on the tarmac for more than two hours while health officials investigated.

A fellow passenger posted video of the man being removed from the aircraft by first responders in full hazmat gear. A flight attendant can be heard in the video warning passengers, “It’s going to look worse than it is, okay?” The flight attendant did not hide her feelings about the man’s stunt, announcing over the PA system, “I’ve done this for 36 years. I think the man that said this is an idiot, and I’ll say that straight up.”

The man was eventually escorted off the plane and examined at PUJ’s medical center. Not only was he found to be at zero risk for Ebola, but according to the Ministry of Public Health, the man had never even been to an Ebola-affected region.

Officials in the Dominican Republic declined to allow him to enter the country.

[Photo: Business Insider ; Video: Patrick Narvaez, YouTube ]

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5 Comments
P
Parkerthon October 13, 2014

A joke made in very poor taste to be sure, but why would someone honestly think this guy is being serious? Who announces something like that, in that manner, that is being serious? I'd ask the guy if he was serious. If he says no, chide him for being a thoughtless idiot and move on with life. But pick up the phone and call in the CDC? That's people looking for something to get worked up about. Overreacting indeed.

C
corbetti October 12, 2014

Do you understand what a level 4 contagion is? Do me a favor and read the book Hot Zone and then tell me why you think this was an overreaction.

J
JackE October 12, 2014

What were they doing that made them "conflationists"?

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Open Jaw October 12, 2014

USAirways should ban him from flying their airline. Stupid people making stupid jokes should be heavily fined and castigated for their actions. No exceptions!

V
VaguelyAsian October 11, 2014

are you f'ing kidding me, the people on that flight are overreactionary conflationists. Let him go and slap the shit out of the people that shit their pants.