Passenger who has passed away may have symptoms of coronavirus

(CNN) –– United Airlines has partnered with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to contact anyone on board a flight diverted from Orlando to Los Angeles following the death of a passenger who may have had symptoms of coronavirus .

According to a statement from the airline, a man aboard United Airlines Flight 591 had a medical emergency on Monday. As a result, the flight was diverted to New Orleans, the statement said.

At the time of the diversion, airline personnel were informed that the passenger had suffered cardiac arrest. A spokeswoman for United Airlines reported this to CNN.

Paramedics took the man to a local hospital, where they pronounced him dead.

Details about the passenger

The passenger’s wife was heard to tell the ER technician that her husband had symptoms related to COVID-19, including loss of taste and smell, the spokeswoman said.

However, the covid-19 diagnosis was never confirmed by medical professionals at the time, the spokeswoman added.

When the passenger checked in for the flight, he indicated on the airline’s Ready-to-Fly checklist that he had not been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the spokesperson. She also noted that she had no symptoms related to the coronavirus, the official added.

After receiving more information about this passenger’s health, “it is clear that he has falsely acknowledged this claim,” said the spokeswoman.

Medical professionals initially ruled on the emergency cardiac arrest, United said in a statement. So the flight continued on the same plane to Los Angeles, the airline added. The passengers then had the option to disembark and board a later flight, the statement said. “A change of aircraft was not warranted,” said United Airlines.

All passengers chose to continue to Los Angeles.

The family confirmed that the man was suffering from pre-existing conditions. Among them high blood pressure and upper respiratory problems, and feeling sick before the travel day.

United will share the requested information with the CDC. This “so they can work with local health officials and contact any customer” the agency believes are at risk of potential exposure or infection, the airline’s statement said.

The company has contacted the man’s family, the statement said. “He has expressed our condolences to them for his loss,” the statement said.

Airlines, such as United, are asking for more contact details for the coronavirus

On Wednesday, United Airlines announced that it will ask passengers for additional contact details in case someone on their flight contracts the corona virus.

The airline can then share that information with the CDC.

Earlier this month, Delta Air Lines also announced that it would request contact information for passengers entering the United States.

So far, no major outbreak of Covid-19 has been linked to a commercial flight in the US, but so far there have been no widespread efforts to track down passenger contact.

Pete Muntean and Greg Wallace, both from CNN, contributed to this story.