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United Airlines helps to contact passengers after man on flight dies a possible COVID-19-related death | TheHill – The Hill

United Airlines is helping to contact passengers after it was determined that a man who passed away on a Monday flight could have died of a heart attack due to COVID-19 complications, The New York TImes reports.

The plane, scheduled to fly from Orlando to Los Angeles, made an unplanned landing in New Orleans after a man aboard the flight suffered a medical emergency.

While the man was being tended to for his cardiac arrest, flight crew members overheard his wife telling first responders that her husband had been experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19. He had not disclosed the symptoms, which included loss of taste and smell, prior to boarding the flight, according to the Times.

It hasn’t been confirmed if the man had been infected or not.

“We implore passengers not travel if they have been diagnosed with Covid-19 or have Covid-related symptoms,” United Airlines said. “If in doubt, the best option is to get tested.”

The airline was contacted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) after the incident, and has been complying with its request to provide passenger information, the Times reports.

“We are sharing requested information with the agency so they can work with local health officials to conduct outreach to any customer the C.D.C. believes may be at risk for possible exposure or infection,” the airline said.

News of the possible COVID-19 exposure to plane passengers spread on social media, with one passenger noting that they didn’t have their temperatures checked before boarding and there wasn’t a plane change after leaving New Orleans.

United Airlines addressed the lack of action in a statement to the Times, saying, “The decision to continue on to Los Angeles was made after the medical professionals initially ruled the emergency as cardiac distress. A change in aircraft was not warranted. Instead, passengers were given the option to deplane and take a later flight or continue on to Los Angeles. All passengers opted to continue.” 

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