A person in Lansing, Michigan tested positive for COVID-19 and decided to go to the airport anyway. They were under a quarantine order but “attempted to board a plane” but were stopped “after local health officials issued a cease-and-desist order.”
The Ingham County Health Department notified the Capital Region International Airport on Friday afternoon that a person who tested positive for COVID-19 was possibly boarding a flight leaving from Lansing and should be prevented from doing so.
The cease-and-desist order became necessary when the patient did not heed directions to remain quarantined, Ingham County Health Officer Linda Vail said.
The passenger had actually told health department staff they planned to travel home. They were caught by airport staff prior to the security checkpoint. They left the airport voluntarily, potentially infecting people along the way. The airport, which didn’t have any additional flights that day, closed down for sanitization.
Mary Mallon (“Typhoid Mary”) was a cook infected with typhoid but asymptomatic. She’s believed to have been born with the disease, and it was likely in her gallbladder. She went from home to home, working and infecting people in the home, likely by not washing her hands after using the bathroom. She was forcibly quarantined from 1907 to 1910. She wouldn’t stop working as a cook, or change her hygiene practices (nor have her gallbladder removed), refusing to believe she was the cause of outbreaks. So she was quarantined from 1915 through 1938 when she died although she was permitted to work in other occupations. “Typhoid Mary” is now a term for someone who spreads disease or other undesirable things.
The history of people who ought to know they’re at risk of harming others and either not believing it or not being persuaded to take actions to limit the risk is a long one. Of course we don’t know whether this passenger will wind up a superspreader.
(HT: Paul H.)