More evidence emerges of COVID-19 slipping in through LAX — without travelers being warned

Local news
Travelers wear biohazard suits in May at LAX’s Tom Bradley International Terminal.(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

Travelers wear biohazard suits in May at LAX’s Tom Bradley International Terminal.(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

After Long Beach physician Dr. Moira Rashid tested positive for COVID-19 in mid-March, she told contact tracers from the city health department that she had flown into Los Angeles International Airport from Munich, Germany, the day before falling ill.

Passengers and crew on the March 13 flight were not informed they had traveled with an infected person because Rashid was not displaying known symptoms of COVID-19 during the flight. Since then, the risk from asymptomatic people has become clear.

Rashid’s flight, Lufthansa 452, is the third instance identified by The Times in which public health officials in the early stage of the pandemic did not alert travelers into LAX that they were at risk for infection. Hundreds on these flights returned to their families and communities unaware they might be carrying the virus, potentially seeding new outbreaks.

One passenger, a San Diego County man, died of COVID-19 three weeks after an Asiana Airlines flight from Seoul. His daughter said that until she read in The Times that a woman aboard his plane was stricken with the virus, “It was a mystery where he got it.”

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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