Arik Air: Passenger Vomits, Dies On Flight From Nigeria To JFK

Effie Orfanides

A passenger on Arik Air vomited in his seat and then died on a flight from Nigeria to JFK in New York. According to Mail Online, the 63-year-old American man was tested for Ebola, but the CDC confirmed that he did not have the disease. The flight left Lagos, Nigeria, on Wednesday, but the unnamed passenger didn't make it to the States. Once the plane landed, 145 passengers were forced to stay on the plane while CDC, Port Authority, and customs officials boarded the aircraft in protective gear.

"The authorities conducted tests on the body and it was only a short evaluation that suggested he did not have the deadly virus, prompting concerns there are still 'vulnerabilities' at airports," reports Mail Online.

The man on the Arik Air flight did experience chest pains before he died, according to the New York Daily News. It is believed that he suffered a heart attack (vomiting can be a symptom of heart attacks). Many passengers were worried as they were forced to stay in their seats for 45 minutes after the plane had landed, but officials were able to ensure everyone that they were not at risk.

Despite the ongoing worries surrounding Ebola and the potential epidemic in the United States, flying is still considered very safe. According to The Inquisitr, your chances of contracting Ebola on an airplane are extremely slim. To put it into perspective, one doctor said that you'd have a better chance at getting into a car accident on your way to the airport.

"I can understand passengers' concern about being exposed but this is something that's transmitted with direct contact of body fluids," said Dr. Suzanne Donovan.

"If saliva or bodily fluid gets either on the tray or arm rest and you touch it and then you touch your nose, you touch your mouth..." posed Dan Simon from CNN.

"And you are bringing a very rare scenario. So now, it say you're at greater risk of driving to the airport and getting in a car accident than being infected with Ebola by being on an airplane," Dr. Donovan responded.

The man who died on the Arik Air flight was traveling alone. It is unknown why he was in Nigeria or how long he had been there. It was confirmed that the man was a U.S. citizen. Heart attacks on airplanes are more common than you might think. The timing of this man's heart attack, however, caused additional upset and worry to other passengers because of the current Ebola scare.

[Photo courtesy of Hansueli Krapf via Wikimedia Commons]