A passenger on a recent Spirit Airlines flight alleges that she almost got kicked off the aircraft due to concerns that she might have monkeypox.
However, Jacqueline Ngu’s facial rash, which a flight attendant mistook for monkeypox, actually had severe, life-long eczema that she manages with topical creams and ointments.
After being taken from the plane and being requested to provide a medical certificate to establish her rash was eczema and not anything contagious, Jacqueline used TikTok to convey her story of what she called “medical prejudice.”
“Misinformation leads to discrimination/hostility,” Jacqueline said on TikTok. “Everyone with a visible non-contagious skin condition has been anticipating this,” she said in response to the recent global outbreak of Monkeypox.
The outbreak was referred to as a “public health emergency of international significance” by World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus last month, but health officials have attempted to reassure the public that the danger of inflight transmission is extremely low.
Jacqueline alleges she was only permitted back on the plane after producing a tube of prescribed eczema ointment and that the incident left her feeling “humiliated.”
But even then, according to Jacqueline, one flight attendant saw her and immediately moved away without even looking at her, “as if eye contact could spread it,”
In recent months, more than 16,000 cases have been found in 75 countries and territories. For many years, incidences of monkeypox in people were mostly observed in central and west Africa. Only a few deaths have been officially reported thus far.
The bulk of cases in the present outbreak have been found in men who have had intercourse with other men, but since monkeypox is not a sexually transmitted sickness, anybody is susceptible.
Monkeypox typically spreads “through close, personal, often skin-to-skin contact,” which includes close physical contact like hugging and extended face-to-face contact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Monkeypox can also be transferred through touching clothing or objects that have been touched by someone who has the disease, as well as by any other direct skin contact with lesions or scabs.
Due to this, some professionals advise individuals who are worried about contracting monkeypox to wear long sleeve shirts and pants in communal areas like an airplane cabin.