Delta Passengers Quarantined Following Medical Scare (Which Turned Out To Be Bug Bites)

Passengers on board a Delta flight from Detroit to Chicago were quarantined on the tarmac for several hours this afternoon over concerns about one traveler with what appeared to be a mysterious rash.

According CBS Chicago, the rash was ultimately determined to be the result of bug bites, but only after the plane was surrounded by Chicago fire department trucks on the tarmac at Midway airport.

Passengers Tweeted photos of emergency responders seen below and here boarding the plane wearing hospital scrubs and face masks.

One person on the plane told CBS “there was a good amount of panic and disbelief,” before passengers were ultimately allowed to get off the plane.

CBS reports that the passenger with the bug bites may have originally flown to the U.S. from Ghana. The Centers For Disease Control are investigating the matter.


Edit Your Comment

  1. JimboRick says:

    Captain Tripps!

  2. bluline says:

    I’m almost surprised the airline or the police didn’t try to confiscate cell phones and other electronic devices to keep passengers from spreading this news to the general public.

    • Lyn Torden says:

      They were afraid to go inside.

      • bluline says:


        • MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

          This wasn’t a security issue. It was a containment issue. If it was a pathogen that caused the rash, there’s little chance of re-containing it once everyone starts to go their separate ways. That’s why airports are considered ideal places to disburse a contagious biological weapon, they have more and longer vectors than just about any other possible location.

          • bluline says:

            Understand. I’m just thinking that in a situation like this the authorities might want to control passenger contact with the outside world to prevent a possible panic. Maybe I’ve just read too much science fiction. Anyway, given the technology we have today, preventing such contact would be nigh near impossible.

            • MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

              The biggest concern in a situation like that, where it’s already contained, would probably be outside crowd control to keep outsiders from breaching the quarantine. And, since it’s at an airport, it’s not as hard a scene to control as, say, an office building.

              (I don’t have any real-world experience with this, just a degree in public health and a fascination with epidemiology and medical disaster movies. :) )

  3. Blueskylaw says:

    Where’s Scully when you need him?

  4. Sleepingbear says:

    Laugh now, no one will be laughing next week when all these passagers start hungering for human flesh!

    • Blueskylaw says:


      passager m (plural passagers; feminine passagère, plural passagères)
      1.Passenger. ‚ÄÉ

      2.(archaic) Traveller. ‚ÄÉ


      passager m (f passagère, m plural passagers, f plural passagères)
      1.Whose presence in a location is only temporary; passing. ‚ÄÉ

      2.Of a short duration; temporary; transitory, fleeting, flighty. ‚ÄÉ

      3.(informal, of a street or place) Busy.

  5. Alliance to Restore the Republic of the United States of America says:

    Fear and overreaction is what’s going to tear this country apart. “Death from a thousand cuts” indeed.

  6. dicobalt says:

    Home of the brave?

    • Pagan wants a +1 button says:

      And if they’d said, “Oh, just bug bites,” and released a plane full of people who were exposed to Monkey Pox, how brave would that be?

      • dicobalt says:

        Surrounding the plane with fire trucks while still on the tarmac? That’s not precautionary, that’s paranoia.

  7. brandonsavage says:

    I see so many of these stories: terminals evacuated for suspicious packages, planes quarantined, roads closed and streets evacuated…

    In all this time I have never seen them discover an actual threat for all the precautions they take. The time somebody actually sent a bomb to the Maryland statehouse? The first indication of a problem was the bomb starting to detonate.

    Waste of tax dollars.

    • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

      I would rather them be safe with this kind of thing, even if it were me who was on that plane.

    • pdxguy says:

      I agree in that it is a waste. I would rather have a degree of risk for the sake of not being delayed or inconvenienced.

    • JennQPublic says:

      You seem to be assuming this was suspected to be enemy action. I find the threat of a natural disaster (i.e. an unknown disease) to be far more worrisome, and this is exactly how such things spread. By the time we realize what’s going on…


  8. Kahless says:

    When you see lvl c or above then you have to start worrying:

  9. joako says:

    Being taken hostage by your own government, apparently it’s legal.