A passenger who was taken off a flight from Brussels to Newark, N.J., today along with his daughter after his sickness triggered fear that he might have Ebola does not have the deadly disease, officials said.
United Airlines Flight 998 was met by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials at Newark Liberty International Airport and the passenger, who was believed to be from Liberia, and his daughter were removed from the plane by a CDC crew in full hazmat gear. They were taken to University Hospital in Newark for testing.
"After an examination by physicians at University Hospital, the symptoms of one individual were found to be consistent with another, minor treatable condition unrelated to Ebola," University Hospital spokeswoman Donna Leusner said. "The second individual, who was traveling with the patient, was asymptomatic. The two individuals will be released with self-monitoring."
A senior federal official said the passenger was exhibiting "flu-like symptoms" on the flight.
According to an official briefed on the situation, preliminary information was that the passenger was vomiting on flight but did not display most of the other symptoms.
Other passengers remained on the plane while the sick passenger and his daughter were being removed.
After they were off the plane and it was determined he was not contagious, the rest of the passengers were allowed off, a source with knowledge of the situation told ABC News.
The passengers were required to give information on how to follow up with them if the need arose.
"Everybody was very calm," said Bob MacRae, who was among the passengers kept at the airport for about two hours. "It's just it dragged out for quite a long time without any real good answers so I think we would have appreciated more information as time went on but we didn't really have any."
There were 255 passengers and a crew of three pilots and 11 flight attendants on the Boeing 777-200.
United Airlines released a brief statement after the flight arrived.
"Upon arrival at Newark Airport from Brussels, medical professionals instructed that customers and crew of United flight 998 remain on board until they could assist an ill customer," the statement said. "We are working with authorities and will accommodate our customers as quickly as we can."
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