A passenger who joked that he had the Ebola virus on a U.S. flight to the Dominican Republic caused panic on the plane, media reports said on Friday.
The joke earned him an escort from the aircraft by people in hazardous materials suits, the report said.
The 54-year-old man said that he was infected with the deadly haemorrhagic fever on Wednesday while on a U.S. Airways flight from Philadelphia to Punta Cana.
“I was just kidding,” he said in videos posted on social media as he was led off the plane by local health officials decked out in blue protective suits and breathing apparatuses.
“Instead of spending a two-week vacation in the Dominican Republic as he had planned, the man was sent back on Thursday to the U.S.,” an airport official said.
Tests showed he did not have the virus but his statement on the flight caused anxiety and indignation among over 200 passengers and crew members on board.