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N.J. Department Of Health: Sick Passenger On Newark Flight Does Not Have Ebola

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A sick passenger on board a plane that landed at Newark Liberty International Airport, who the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention investigated for possible Ebola, does not have the virus, according to the New Jersey Department of Health.

University Hospital in Newark said the man's symptoms were found to be consistent with a treatable condition unrelated to the deadly Ebola virus and that he would be released with continued monitoring.

The passenger was moved to an area hospital, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said Saturday afternoon.

University Hospital confirmed two patients, a child and an adult, were transported from Newark International Airport to University Hospital around 2:30 p.m.

The child was found to be asymptomatic, the hospital said.

Port Authority officials said a passenger on board United Flight 998, inbound from Brussels, was vomiting aboard the plane.

Web Extra: More Information About Ebola From CDC

After landing in Newark at around 12:15 p.m., authorities sealed the plane at Gate 54 and asked the 255 passengers and the plane's crew to remain on board, the Port Authority said.

At around 1:50 p.m., passengers were allowed off the plane and the sick passenger and his daughter were taken to an area hospital, the Port Authority told 1010 WINS.

The sick man was wearing a surgical mask when he was removed from the plane, Raymond Schraff, a passenger on board the flight, told CBS News. He said the man's daughter was not.

Schraff said workers from the CDC wore full body protection when they escorted the man off the plane.

An announcement was later made that the man, coming from Liberia with a connection in Brussels, wasn't contagious, Schraff told CBS News.

Passengers described confusion by airline and airport officials as the plane taxied to the gate, 1010 WINS' Gary Baumgarten reported.

Port Authority: CDC Investigating Sick Passenger For Possible Ebola At Newark Airport

One passenger said they couldn't immediately make up their minds about what the proper protocol was.

"Frankly, they made it up as they went along. First they said get out of here, we almost got out. Nope, wait, then we filled out a form which the airline has all this information anyway," he said.

"The only thing they asked you is to fill in papers and then they don't know what to do with the papers. It's amazing that after all these diseases, they still don't have a clue how to handle this," another frustrated passenger said.

Passengers aboard the flight were given a yellow sheet of instructions in the event they do experience Ebola symptoms.

"I just want to go home," a passenger aboard the flight told WCBS 880 after being let off the plane.

"They told us there was a guy sick. In the first place, they told us that it wasn't an infectious disease and then they were just being very cautious of things," one passenger named Thomas said.

Bob McCray was on the flight and told WCBS 880's Monica Miller passengers had to wait four hours until they were cleared to go, with little information given to them.

"Everyone was very calm, it just dragged on for quite a long time without any real answers," he said.

"They kept holding us and holding us and holding us without much information," Douglas Schoch said.

Port Authority: CDC Investigating Sick Passenger For Possible Ebola At Newark Airport

"For me, it was immediately clear that there was a risk of Ebola with that patient," passenger Johan Geerinck told CBS 2's Matt Kozar.

Geerinck knew something was wrong when police and CDC workers rushed onto the plane.

University Hospital said they are in constant contact with the CDC and Department of Health.

Some travelers 1010 WINS talked with said flights to the U.S. should require medical screenings of all those on board.

"I'm not worried about it right now. Now on the way home, that might be a different story," one passenger preparing to fly out of Newark International Airport told 1010 WINS.

1010 WINS' medical expert, Dr. Brian McDonough, recommends that to fight the spread of viruses like Ebola, obey the CDC's warnings and wash your hands, stay away from those displaying symptoms and make sure proper processes are being followed.

"What we've learned about Ebola is that it really has to be like a contact that's different than just the casual contact you get with maybe viruses. It has to be more direct. But if you were sitting on that plane, it's much less likely than many other viruses which can be spread throughout a contained area," 1010 WINS' medical expert, Dr. Brian McDonough said.

The CDC says 77 travelers with suspected Ebola symptoms have been stopped from boarding planes in West Africa headed to the U.S.

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