Woman thrown out of Spirit Airlines flight after staff mistook chronic eczema for monkeypox

'@Spirit Airlines maybe teach your employees what monkeypox looks like,' TikToker Jacqueline said

Woman thrown out of Spirit Airlines flight after staff mistook chronic eczema for monkeypox
Jacqueline revealed her horrible experience with Spirit Airlines on TikTok (@jacqueline.ngu/TikTok and Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
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A woman has claimed that she was forced to deboard a Spirit Airlines airplane after the staff allegedly mistook her chronic eczema for monkeypox. Jacqueline, who makes TikTok videos under the username @jacqueline.ngu, shared about her unpleasant experience on the video-sharing platform.

In the caption, she wrote, “misinformation leads to discrimination/hostility. everyone with a non-contagious skin condition has been anticipating this #monkeypox#eczema.” She explained through text surfacing on her short video, “They had me get off the plane in front of everyone along with my wife to interrogate me about the eczema I've had my whole life."

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“They asked me to provide medical documents and told my wife to watch her attitude. I’ve never been so humiliated in my life. @Spirit Airlines maybe teach your employees what monkeypox looks like before you catch hundreds of medical discrimination cases,” Jacqueline added.

The clip has since gone viral with several people sharing their own stories in the comment section. A user reportedly said, “As an adult with cystic acne I have been scared, I’ve been trying so hard to cover up out of fear. Sorry this had to happen to you." Another commented, “People used to bully me thinking my eczema was contagious and I’m terrified it’s gonna happen again.”

“I am waiting on this to happen to me. I have eczema as well and the sun actually makes me break out,” a person wrote while another noted: “I have eczema, HS [Hidradenitis suppurativa], and cystic acne, the trifecta of looking like I have monkey pox and I’m terrified.” “I have psoriasis… the idea of this happening in an airport… how would you suddenly provide documentation?? Like no one carries that,” someone pointed out.

A comment on Jacqueline’s post read: “They can’t just demand medical records without stating it’s a requirement prior to flying. This is gonna be a mess. Sorry you experienced this.” Another noted, “Its gonna be a long pants/long sleeve summer for the psoriasis/eczema crew.”

As per CDC, signs of monkeypox are “a rash that may be located on or near the genitals (penis, testicles, labia, and vagina) or anus (butthole) and could be on other areas like the hands, feet, chest, face, or mouth.” It has been said that people with no idea about the disease may wrongly confuse it with other skin issues.

Monkeypox symptoms include, “fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes, muscle aches and backache.” The CDC describes it as “a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. Monkeypox virus is part of the same family of viruses as variola virus, the virus that causes smallpox. Monkeypox symptoms are similar to smallpox symptoms, but milder, and monkeypox is rarely fatal. Monkeypox is not related to chickenpox.”

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It also adds, “Despite being named ‘monkeypox,’ the source of the disease remains unknown. However, African rodents and non-human primates (like monkeys) might harbor the virus and infect people. The first human case of monkeypox was recorded in 1970.”

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According to The Sun, Jacqueline posted a follow-up video in which she revealed she was later allowed to board the flight after providing proof of her medication. She said, "We were able to board the flight again after I presented a tube of my prescribed eczema cream...As we walked down the plane again, a flight attendant was walking down the aisle and when she saw me, she prompt turned around and walked the other way, not even looking at me as if eye contact would spread it. This has happened to other people who were not so lucky to have anything with them as ‘proof’.”

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