Officials Friday morning quickly cordoned off sections of the Pentagon parking lot and closed an entrance as an Ebola precaution after a woman vomited outside the Pentagon and said she had recently been to Africa.
Pentagon police shut down its Corridor 2 entrance and suspended all pedestrian and vehicle traffic at its south parking lot after police spotted the woman shortly after 9 am around lanes 17-19 of the south lot. She was ill and vomiting, said Lt. Col. Tom Crosson, a Defense Department spokesman.
While being treated by emergency responders from the nearby Arlington County Fire Department, the woman "indicated that she had recently visited Africa." The woman was taken to the Inova Fairfax Hospital in Virginia shortly before 10 am, officials said.
The Pentagon was not evacuated nor were service members or civilians quarantined inside. However, Crosson said lanes 7-23 will remain restricted until further notice.
"Out of an abundance of caution, all pedestrian and vehicular traffic was suspended around the South Parking lot, while Arlington County responded to the scene," Crosson said.
Officials across the U.S. have taken severe precautions when potential Ebola symptoms have been identified and patients have made a recent visit to Africa. The virus has spread across West Africa where it has killed more than 4,000 people.
One man already has died from the illness in Texas and two healthcare workers who had contact with the man are now being treated for the virus. A Marine has also voluntarily quarantined himself after he found out he was onboard the same flight as one of the nurses.
The U.S. is deploying troops to Liberia and other West African countries to support civilian-led operations to halt the spread of the virus.
-- Bryant Jordan can be reached at email@example.com