- Associated Press - Friday, October 17, 2014

WASHINGTON (AP) - A woman who became ill in the Pentagon parking lot does not have Ebola, Virginia public health authorities said Friday, ending a daylong scare that forced the temporary quarantine of military members going to a Marine Corps ceremony in Washington.

Officials at Arlington and Fairfax counties’ public health departments said they are confident the woman does not have Ebola, based on her travel history and questioning by medical officials. They said she was put in isolation at Inova Fairfax Hospital, and that medical personnel took all needed precautions.

Pentagon police shut down a building entrance and a portion of the south parking lot when the woman boarded a shuttle bus, then got off and vomited. Officials say she told them she had recently been in West Africa. Officials temporarily sequestered personnel who went to her aid.

Arlington County, Virginia, where the Pentagon is located, responded with a hazardous materials team, and police cordoned off the area, treating the incident as a possible Ebola case.

Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Tom Crosson said that “out of an abundance of caution,” all pedestrian and vehicle traffic was stopped across 17 lanes of the huge parking lot. A building entrance was temporarily closed, he said. The Pentagon initiated infectious disease protocols.

The woman told officials she worked for Total Spectrum, a lobbying and public relations firm. Its managing director, Steve Gordon, said in an interview that the woman had not been out of the Washington area.

A military official, speaking on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to comment publicly by name, said the woman was on a shuttle bus taking guests to a ceremony for Gen. Joe Dunford, who is taking over as commandant of the Marine Corps. She got off the shuttle before it left the Pentagon lot and then vomited.

Officials notified the FBI and checked the woman’s background and possible travel to West Africa.

According to defense officials, seven Pentagon officers who assisted the woman were isolated as well as the group on the shuttle bus.


Associated Press writer Matt Barakat contributed to this report.

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