TB Flight 2846: Passengers Get Tuberculosis Warning
Passengers aboard a US Airways flight said they were told to get tuberculosis tests after they landed in a Phoenix airport over the weekend because of an ill passenger on board.
The passengers aboard US Airways Flight 2846 from Austin to Phoenix Saturday night say the plane was swarmed by paramedics and police on landing, who advised that everyone on board should get a tuberculosis test and follow up with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
A Phoenix-area woman told ABC News affiliate KNXV-TV her husband and 10-year-old daughter were on the flight when paramedics and police removed a man who reportedly had tuberculosis.
"As we were taxiing, a stewardess came down the aisle," passenger Dean Davidson said. "She had a mask and she instructed the gentleman to put a mask on."
"The fireman said he has tuberculosis, he's contagious, you must see your physicians immediately and you must be tested in three months' time," Davidson added.
US Airways confirmed to ABC News that the crew of Flight 2846 received notice from the Transportation Security Administration about midway through the flight that a passenger's boarding status had changed because of a medical condition.
"The warning that came from the CDC did not occur until after the flight had departed so the passenger did not have a red flag in their reservation system or any warning there," airline spokesman Bill McGlashen told ABC News.
US Airways could not confirm what the medical condition was, but the 74 passengers and crew members on board were met by the Phoenix Fire Department at the at Sky Harbor Airport and were given information following the removal of the passenger who had the medical condition.
"Passengers were provided some information about what had occurred. And we are following up the situation with the CDC and monitoring it with them," McGlashen said.
Maricopa County Dept. of Public Health Spokesperson Jeanene Fowler said they were notified by the airport in Phoenix of an unconfirmed case of tuberculosis.
Tuberculosis, a bacterial infection of the lungs, is contagious and sometimes deadly. But the CCD tells ABC News even if the passenger has tuberculosis, "exposure to other passengers would be unlikely."
"We believe there is very low risk of anyone being exposed to tuberculosis," Fowler said.