Airlines

United Airlines in talks with CDC after passenger death possibly due to Covid

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Key Points
  • The man, on flight 591 bound for Los Angeles from Orlando on Monday, was pronounced dead by a hospital in New Orleans, where the plane made an emergency landing, the airlines told Reuters in an emailed statement.
  • United Airlines said it was sharing requested information with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), so it could work with local health officials to reach out to passengers of flight 591 who CDC believes may be at risk for possible exposure or infection.
United Airlines Holdings Inc. aircraft on the tarmac at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020.
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

United Airlines said on Friday it was in talks with U.S. health officials to alert passengers on a recent flight of potential exposure to the new coronavirus after a man died following a medical emergency on the plane.

The man, on flight 591 bound for Los Angeles from Orlando on Monday, was pronounced dead by a hospital in New Orleans, where the plane made an emergency landing, the airlines told Reuters in an emailed statement.

"At the time of the diversion, we were informed he had suffered a cardiac arrest, so passengers were given the option to take a later flight or continue on with their travel plans," the airlines said, but did not specify whether the deceased passenger had coronavirus.

United Airlines said it was sharing requested information with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), so it could work with local health officials to reach out to passengers of flight 591 who CDC believes may be at risk for possible exposure or infection.

"CDC is in the process of collecting information and proceeding according to our standard operating procedures to determine if further public health action is appropriate. To protect the privacy of the individual, we aren't providing this information to the public," the agency told Reuters in an emailed statement.