Kanawha Health Officer: Response to Yeager Ebola Scare Was 'Coordinated' and 'Careful'


There were some tense moments at Yeager Airport last night.  A flight from Atlanta was delayed on the tarmac after someone on the flight overheard a conversation about Ebola in Texas.  Dr. Rahul Gupta, the health officer of the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department described the scene on West Virginia Public Radio this morning.

“We were notified as were the airport authorities of a flight coming in from Atlanta that had several people on board but there was a complaint made because they overheard of somebody possibly coming from a Dallas hospital and questions were raised about the possibility of Ebola happening on the plane. We immediately dispatched our team, worked with the airport and several other partners and we realized what had happened.  There was these four individuals that were actually just having a casual conversation and perhaps one individual was from Galveston which was misinterpreted possible as Dallas.  They were all screened out.  They were all fine. The flight was deplaned but it kind of points to the issue of panic in the population as such.

Beth Vorhees: “Is that an overreaction or a proper public health response given the events?” “Well we expect overreactions to occur in situations especially when there is this level of fear in the population across the nation .  It is not unexpected.  What needs to happen just like it did last night a coordinated, careful approach and response to calm the fears of the population as well as manage and screen out the people if need to be.”