**Update: 05/03/20 @ 20:50 UTC – A Delta spokesperson shared why it didn’t inform the passenger; details below**
A passenger that flew from Milan to Atlanta via Amsterdam on February 22nd has been diagnosed with coronavirus. However, fellow passengers on the Delta Air Lines flight from the capital of the Netherlands have not been informed.
View From The Wing reports that the 56-year old man from Fulton County showed symptoms of the virus a few days after he arrived in Atlanta. He had been attending a conference in Milan and others at the event are also sick. He now remains at home with his son, who has also caught the virus.
However, the US government is not tracking inbound passengers from Italy or any other location, apart from China. This may need to change as the virus is very much a worldwide issue now, with cases multiplying every day across several countries.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), others on the flight did not need to be notified. The Associated Press reports that Dr. S. Elizabeth Ford, interim director of the Fulton County Department of Health, states that this is because the infected passenger was not symptomatic at the time of flying.
“The recommendations from CDC were that the travelers on the plane did not need to be tested at this time,” Ford said, according to the report.
“At the time that he landed he was asymptomatic, and so at this point, we are not concerned about travelers. At this point, according to the CDC, the infectivity rate occurs when the patients become symptomatic.”
About 90,000 people have been infected across the world since the outbreak of coronavirus in China’s Hubei province. There have been more than 3,000 fatal cases in over 50 countries.
Ultimately, if officials are serious about containing the virus, an effective approach would be to assist with the situation at the point of entry.
Airport testing and passenger updates could go a long way to tackle the spread of coronavirus in this unpredictable climate. Airline executives are meeting with officials at the White House today. Perhaps the approach may change following these discussions.
Simple Flying reached out to Delta for comment on why the passengers on this flight have not been informed.
A spokesperson said that the company follows the CDC’s process regarding passenger manifests as it relates to COVID-19. When a passenger has tested positive for COVID-19 and has recently flown on an airline, the CDC will request a manifest for that flight and there was no manifest request to Delta for this flight.
What are your thoughts on how these passengers weren’t notified about the infection? Do you think that those traveling should have been informed? Let us know what you think of the situation in the comment section.