A man died on a plane from Nigeria landing at Kennedy Airport in Queens early Thursday, sparking fears that the deadly Ebola virus had finally touched down in New York, sources said.
Centers for Disease Control and Health Department members in protective gear swarmed the Arik Air flight landing at JFK’s Terminal 4 after the 63-year-old man, a U.S. citizen, died on the plane about an hour before landing at 5:45 a.m.
The plane had departed from Lagos, officials said.
The man, who was traveling alone, was vomiting and complaining of chest pains before he died of an apparent heart attack, a Port Authority source said.
Passengers were held on the plane for about 45 minutes as CDC officials determined that the dead passenger didn’t have the disease that’s infected more than 7,500 people in the West African countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and has recently surfaced in Dallas.
About 3,400 people have died from the disease, officials said.