Plane carrying Ebola patient recently in Portland

Doctor says there's no cause for concern

Passengers wait to pick up their luggage at Portland International Airport, Sept. 30, 2014. (KOIN 6)
Passengers wait to pick up their luggage at Portland International Airport, Sept. 30, 2014. (KOIN 6)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN 6) — The United Airlines plane that carried the US’s only confirmed Ebola patient landed at Portland International Airport the day after it carried that person to Texas from Liberia on Sept. 20.

According to Flight Tracker, the plane was back at the airport Wednesday evening as well.

Dr. Debbie Eisenhut, a local doctor who has been in West Africa treating Ebola patients, said passengers on those flights should not be concerned.

“No, not a problem at all because he wasn’t sick,” Eisenhut explained. “You don’t shed any virus until you’re actually having symptoms, so if he wasn’t having symptoms, he wasn’t sick. So he wouldn’t be spreading anymore germs than the average person.”

Aviation officials said it’s common practice for planes to be cleaned between each flight and more thoroughly every night. Therefore, officials said the plane has unquestionable been cleaned numerous times since the Ebola patient was on it.

United Airlines also issued the following statement on Wednesday in regard to the plane that carried the Ebola patient:

“The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has informed us that the patient said he flew part of his trip on United. However, without consent, we cannot divulge a traveler’s identity. The director of the CDC has stated there is “zero risk of transmission” on any flight on which the patient flew because he was not symptomatic until several days after his trip and could not have been contagious on the dates he traveled. While the CDC states it is unnecessary for it or the airline to contact others who were on the patient’s flights, United is providing information about the flights United believes the patient took, based on information provided by the CDC. We are ensuring our employees have this information and suggest that any customers who have concerns contact the experts at the CDC for further information.”

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