Local news station WJLA reports that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notified United, the airline which transported Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan from Dulles International Airport to Dallas, Texas. However, the federal health agency abandoned its normal policy of informing fellow passengers of which flights Duncan took from Liberia to the U.S. WJLA/AP:
Thomas Eric Duncan left Monrovia, Liberia, on Sept. 19 aboard a Brussels Airlines jet to the Belgian capital, according to a Belgian official. After layover of nearly seven hours, he boarded United Airlines Flight 951 to Dulles International Airport in northern Virginia. After another layover of nearly three hours, he then flew Flight 822 from Dulles to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, the airline confirmed.
The CDC typically notifies an airline when it learns that an infectious person traveled on that carrier. The airline then turns over the flight manifest to the CDC, and health officials notify other passengers while the airline deals with crew members.
In this case, the CDC told United but not the public what flights the man took. In an interview Wednesday, Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the CDC, suggested that doing so would divert public-health resources away from controlling an outbreak of the virus. He said the CDC was focused on finding and tracking anyone who came in contact with Duncan after he began showing symptoms.
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