American Airlines flight attendant may have exposed dozens of passengers to hepatitis A

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TEST THE WATER AND DETERMINE THAT IT’S SAFE. AND NOW TO THAT HEPATITIS A SCARE. MORE PASSENGERS THAN FIRST THOUGHT MIGHT HAVE BEEN EXPOSED ON AMERICAN AARON FLIGHTS. LAST NIGHT THE CDC SAYS A FLIGHT ATTENDANT MIGHT HAVE EXPOSED 18 PASSENGERS ON THE FLIGHT FROM CHARLOTTE TO SAN FRANCISCO. NOW AMERICAN IS TELLING US ONE OTHER FLIGHT WAS IMPACTED. THEY’RE NOT SAYING WHICH FLIGHT OR HOW MANY PEOPLE MAY HAVE BEEN EXPOSED THERE. CHANNEL 9’S BLAINE TOLISON IS LIVE FOR US TONIGHT. THERE COULD BE EVEN MORE FLIGHTS INVOLVED AS WE LEARN MORE. REPORTER: THE CDC CONFIRMS THAT THE FLIGHT ATTENDANT WAS ON SEVERAL FLIGHTS SHOWING SYMPTOMS OF HEPATITIS A. THAT WOULD MEAN DOZENS IF NOT HUNDREDS OF PASSENGERS COULD HAVE BEEN ON FLIGHTS CARRYING THE VIRUS. THE SCOPE OF THE EXPOSURE TO HEPATITIS A ON AMERICAN AIRLINES FLIGHTS IS OPEN ENDED. WE WERE ORIGINALLY TOLD LAST WEEK IT AFFECTED ONE SEPTEMBER 21st FLIGHT FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO CHARLOTTE AND 18 PEOPLE WERE NOTIFIED. BUT WE NOW KNOW A SICK FLIGHT ATTENDANT CARRYING THE VIRUS WAS ON MORE THAN ONE FLIGHT. SOMETHING GENERAL PASSENGERS TOLD ME THEY WOULD WANT TO KNOW IF THE FIRST PLACE. IF YOU’RE GOING TO DO 18 PEOPLE, YOU SHOULD DO EVERYBODY ON EVERY SINGLE FLIGHT. IF THEY’RE TAKING THAT STEP. TODAY, WE HEARD FROM THE SAN FRANCISCO DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH. OFFICIALS THERE SAY THEY CONTACTED 18 PEOPLE FROM THE SEPTEMBER 21st FLIGHT. THAT MAKES A TOTAL OF 36 PEOPLE NOTIFIED ABOUT THE VIRUS. AMERICAN AIRLINES CONFIRMED IT HAS NOTIFIED THE CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL ABOUT MORE THAN ONE FLIGHT INVOLVED BUT IT HASN’T CONFIRMED THE EXACT NUMBER OF FLIGHTS OR PASSENGERS THEIR CREW MEMBER MAY HAVE COME IN CONTACT WITH. WITH THIS BEING A FLIGHT ATTENDANT, THERE’S NO TELLING HOW MANY PEOPLE FROM HOW MANY CITIES MAY HAVE UNCOUNTERRED HIM. OR IF ANYONE ELSE WILL BE NOTIFIED. THE LAST TIME WE COVERED A HEPATITIS SCARE, THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT OFFERED VACCINES, I’M TOLD RIGHT NOW, NO CLINICS ARE PLANNED. I THINK IF IT WAS CONTAGIOUS, I’D WANT TO KNOW AS SOON AS THEY HAD IT AND HOW MANY PEOPLE COULD BE IMPACTED BY IT. ALL OF OUR LOCAL HEALTH OFFICIALS AND AMERICAN AIRLINES CONTINUES TO DIFFER TO THE CDC, WHICH I HAVE SPOKEN WITH TODAY. AND THEY TOLD ME THAT THEY WOULD TRY TO GET ANSWERS ON THE NUMBER OF FLIGHTS AND PASSENGERS INVOLVED, SCOTT. AND THOSE ANSWERS IN A TIMELINE, VERY IMPORTANT HERE, BLAINE, THE VACCINE IS ONLY EFFECTIVE FOR 14 DAYS AFTER SOMEONE GETS EXPOSED. THE ONLY DATE WE REALLY KNOW RIGHT NOW IS THAT SEPTEMBER 21st DATE. AND THAT WOULD PUT THOSE PATIENTS WELL BEHIND THE TIMELINE FOR GETTING THAT VACCINE YOU MENTIONED THERE. BUT WE DON’T KNOW THE DATES OF THE OTHER FLIGHTS INVOLVED HERE. BUT WE WILL CONTINUE TO PUSH FOR ANSWERS, SCOTT. ALL RIGHT, BLAINE, THANK YOU. OF COURSE WE’VE SEEN THE FALL OUT AND THE CONCERN AFTER ANOTHER HEPATITIS A OUTBREAK LAST JUNE IN CHARLOTTE, A WORKER AT A HARDY’S IN WEST CHARLOTTE WAS INFECTED AND MORE THAN 2,000 OF THEIR CUSTOMERS

 

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