(Reuters) - A Los Angeles bus driver was quarantined for several hours on Monday after a passenger wearing a surgical mask claimed he had Ebola, a county transportation official said.
The man, who was accompanied by a woman without any protective gear, boarded the Venice, California-bound bus and told the driver, “Don’t mess with me. I have Ebola,” said Los Angeles County Metro spokesman Paul Gonzales.
After a few minutes, the man dropped his mask and exited the bus with the woman, Gonzales said. The driver told the rest of the passengers to take the next bus, then drove the vehicle to a central bus yard.
“We consider it a high likelihood that it was a hoax,” Gonzales said.
As a precaution, the driver was sequestered for two hours, then taken to a local hospital where he was examined and released in apparent good health, Gonzales said.
Gonzales said officials are reviewing surveillance video from inside the bus to help apprehend the man, and are treating the scare as a terrorist threat.
Reporting by Curtis Skinner in San Francisco; Editing by Michael Perry