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Ebola Patient's Flight Path To Dallas Confirmed

DALLAS (CBS 11 I-TEAM) - How did he get here? What sort of screening did he go through? News of someone being treated for Ebola in Dallas has people asking all sorts of questions.

The CDC continues to say the man being treated for Ebola did not show symptoms of the virus until four days after arriving in Dallas. And they had no plans to release his travel information, saying there was "zero risk" he was contagious or could infect other commercial airline passengers.

Still, people want to know his travel route from Liberia; which is why the CBS 11 I-Team continued to push.

We now know Thomas Eric Duncan flew from Monrovia, Liberia to Brussels, Belgium. From there, he flew into Washington D.C. and then to Dallas-Fort Worth.

But that information didn't come easy. Here's how the I-Team was able to narrow down Duncan's travel options and later confirm what flights he was on:
· Duncan left out of Liberia – There's only one airport in Liberia, Roberts International Airport in Monrovia.
· To date, nearly every single major airline carrier has pulled flights leaving Monrovia based on the Ebola outbreak. We've spoken with British Airways and Delta Airlines, both use to fly out of Monrovia but now don't.
· He left on September 19, 2014. That was a Friday. And there are just a few flights leaving on Friday.
· He arrived on September 20, 2014 in the United States. That's a Saturday. In order to do a 24-28 hour turnaround, placing him in the US by Saturday before midnight, he would have had to make minimal stops. Flying into a major airport hub would have been essential.
· Based on price and timing, the CBS 11 I-Team was able to narrow down Duncan's connecting flights to Frankfurt, German, Chicago, Illinois, and Washington DC.
· During the initial travel research, one of the possibilities included a connecting flight with United. CBS 11 I-Team Investigative Reporter Mireya Villarreal reached out to the airline last night and received this statement at 7pm.

"The CDC has not shared specific patient information that would allow us to confirm whether the traveler's itinerary involved United. The CDC emphasized that the traveler was not symptomatic, could not have been contagious during the travel, and that there is "zero risk" to anyone who may have been on the flight," Mary Clark, United Airlines.

Wednesday morning Investigative Reporter Mireya Villarreal also spoke with Washington Dulles Airport media relations representative, Chris Paolino, who said, "No indication or information that he flew through Washington Dulles airport."

So, the I-Team reached out to Chicago O'Hare and the airport in Frankfurt, Germany. Both airports were able to positively confirm this afternoon that Thomas Eric Duncan had not gone through their airport.

That's when Investigative Reporter Mireya Villarreal went back to United Airlines and Washington Dulles Airport, pressing them to check their records again.

At 4:45pm, United Airlines sent out this statement:

"The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has informed us that the patient said he flew part of his trip on United. However, without consent, we cannot divulge a traveler's identity. The director of the CDC has stated there is "zero risk of transmission" on any flight on which the patient flew because he was not symptomatic until several days after his trip and could not have been contagious on the dates he traveled. While the CDC states it is unnecessary for it or the airline to contact others who were on the patient's flights, United is providing information about the flights United believes the patient took, based on information provided by the CDC. We are ensuring our employees have this information and suggest that any customers who have concerns contact the experts at the CDC for further information. Information on the Sept. 20 flights United believes the patient took is as follows: Brussels to Washington Dulles, Flight 951 and Washington Dulles to Dallas-Fort Worth, Flight 822."

Washington Dulles Airport has yet to call us back.

Brussels Airlines sent us this statement earlier in the day.

"Concerning your question, Brussels Airlines has not been contacted by the US Centre of Disease Control about this and we don't have more information related to this case as we are not even aware about the identity of the person. This person had a choice between several transport solutions and airlines. We note that in its official statement the Centre of Disease Control highlights that there is no risk that this person contaminated other passengers as he only developed illness symptoms days after he arrived in the US. For your information: as long as a person has not developed any symptoms, this person is not contagious.
Brussels Airlines is permanently monitoring the situation in the with Ebola confronted countries and is in continuous contact with Belgian and International Health Authorities like the WHO. In addition we take since the beginning of this crisis a number of precautionary measures in order to exclude risks. The WHO and the International Civil Aviation Authorities specifically asked and encouraged Brussels Airlines to continue its flight services to the Ebola-stricken countries in order to assist these countries in their efforts to fight the virus – especially as the risk of contamination is extremely low because it is almost, if not completely, impossible for a passenger with illness symptoms to travel."

-Wencke Lemmes-Pireaux, Corporate Communications

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