It’s not every day where you could be risking contracting a contagious disease just by flying from point A to point B. That’s why passengers on a US Airways Express flight from Austin to Phoenix over the weekend were likely a bit concerned when they were reportedly told to get a tuberculosis test on the chance that their fellow flier might’ve had it.
Health officials for Maricopa County say that while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sounded the alarm that resulted in medical personnel removing the man from the plane before it reached the gate, everything is just peachy.
“All of our preliminary tests have come back negative, and after discussions with the CDC it was decided that this man should be allowed to fly,” a spokeswoman for the Maricopa County Department of Public Health told Reuters.
At first no one was officially naming the tuberculosis threat, but passengers had reported being told to get tested for TB after the incident.
The CDC has a “do not board” list of travelers who are contagious, which is supposed to keep them off commercial planes. While that flight was in the air over the busy travel weekend, the CDC contacted the Transportation Security Administration to inform it that the passenger wasn’t supposed to be on a plane.
As soon as the plane landed, firefighters and paramedics met the flight and took the man off. At the time, health officials said that even if passengers had indeed been exposed to active tuberculosis, it wasn’t likely anyone would actually catch it since the flight was so short and the passenger wasn’t coughing.
The medical director for disease control at the county health department also added that no passengers need to go get tested for TB. The all clear has been sounded, and I’ll be bringing a face mask on my next 8-hour flight just in case.