US Airways Flight Briefly Quarantined Due to Smallpox Threat

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina_Authorities quarantined an arriving US Airways flight Friday at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport after a passenger claimed he had smallpox, an airline spokesman said.

Health officials quarantined the Airbus A319 carrying 112 passengers and four crew members coming in from New Orleans, US Airways spokesman Morgan Durrant said.

Scott White, a spokesman at Carolinas Medical Center, where the passenger was taken for tests, said the man does not have the disease, which was eradicated in 1980.

"There's no evidence of smallpox," said Rick Christenbury, spokesman for Mecklenburg County Health Department.

The plane was cleared Friday night after officials confirmed the threat was false.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police spokeswoman Julie Hill said no decision had been made on whether to charge the man, whose condition was still being evaluated Friday night.

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