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Source:ABC News - A United Airlines flight from Brussels was met by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials today at Newark Liberty International Airport after a passenger on board believed to be from Liberia exhibited possible signs of Ebola.

The passenger was traveling with his daughter on United Flight 998 and both were removed from the plane by CDC crew in full hazmat gear.

A senior federal official said the passenger was exbihiting "flu-like symptoms."

According to an official briefed on the situation, preliminary information was that the passenger was vomiting on flight but did not display most of the other symptoms.

"He's now being treated with protocols as if he has it, but no clear indication at this point that he does," the official said.

Other passengers remained on the plane while the sick passenger and his daughter were being removed.

After they were off the plane and it was determined he was not contagious, the rest of the passengers were allowed off, a source with knowledge of the situation told ABC News.

United Airlines released a brief statement after the flight arrived.

"Upon arrival at Newark Airport from Brussels, medical professionals instructed that customers and crew of United flight 988 remain on board until they could assist an ill customer," the statement said. "We are working with authorities and will accommodate our customers as quickly as we can."

Meanwhile two people who were hospitalized in isolation units at D.C. area hospitals on Friday have been declared to not have Ebola, officials confirmed Saturday. One of the cases turned out to be malaria.

One of the patients was being treated at D.C.'s Howard University Hospital, while the other was admitted at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital in Montgomery County, Md.

The Howard patient, who had just returned to the U.S. after visiting Nigeria, was listed in stable condition with "symptoms that could be associated with Ebola," a hospital statement said.

The Shady Grove patient had "flu-like symptoms and a travel history that matches criteria for possible Ebola," officials there said in statement. But they added the individual was "showing signs of improvement" over the past 24 hours. Shady Grove Adventist Hospital released a statement Friday night saying its patient had malaria, not Ebola.

Both hospitals said the Centers for Disease Control and local health departments had been notified of the potential cases and were working with them on "appropriate infection control protocols."

Though the scares have put some on edge, the cases are not unique. After issuing an alert to hospitals and medical providers in July, the CDC has looked into approximately 100 Ebola scares in 33 states, as of Oct. 1, the agency said.

Among those, the CDC has tested the blood of 15 possible Ebola patients and found only one patient who tested positive, according to Dr. Beth Bell, director of the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases. That patient is Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian man diagnosed in Texas. (He flew there via Dulles International Airport in northern Virginia.)

"We're striving for perfection, but what we continue to do is redouble our efforts and ... use this as learning experience," Bell said.

Diagnosing the deadly virus can be difficult. The early symptoms of the Ebola virus, including fever chills and abdominal pain, are similar to many other diseases and can be difficult to diagnose correctly.

After a hospital or state lab identifies a possible Ebola case based on both travel history and symptoms, they notify the CDC. CDC officials then talk to someone familiar with the patient's history to determine whether blood testing for the virus is necessary, said CDC spokeswoman Kristen Nordlund .

 

 

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