Flight quarantined after 'monkey pox' scare
CHICAGO, Ill. (WHDH) -- The CDC quarantined the plane for hours after a misunderstood phone call led to a scare aboard a flight from Detroit to Chicago.
Anxiety was running high inside Delta Flight 3163, all brought on by an apparent case of bed bugs and a mother's concern.
“Captain comes on and says ‘well, this may sound a little strange, but it seems like we’re going to be quarantined for a moment, apparently someone is on board and they may or may not have something’,” passenger Sean Pennington said.
The usually short 30 minute flight turned into anything but for passengers as the commuter jet was met by emergency personnel, health officials in surgical masks and hazmat suits -- and essentially quarantined for two and a half hours.
“Two men came on with protective gear, they spoke with the passenger in question, they took photographs,” passenger Tony Fox said.
The passenger at the center of it all, Lisa Sievers, was returning to Minnesota from Africa where she was seeking to adopt a special needs boy and girl. She said she called her mother saying she had bug bites and that the boy was sick with lesions on his skin. The children were not on the flight.
“Got ‘em on my legs and arms -- but they weren’t like his; he had weeping sores,” Sievers said.
Her mother somehow mixed up the story and called health officials thinking her daughter might have monkey pox, a rare viral disease related to small pox. But all Lisa had were bites.
The Chicago Department of Public Health and the CDC examined her to find she was not contagious and passengers were given the all clear.