ORLANDO, Fla. — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating the death of a passenger on a flight out of Orlando whose wife reportedly told paramedics that he had exhibited COVID-19 symptoms.

What You Need To Know

  • United flight took off from Orlando on Monday en route to Los Angeles

  • Flight was diverted to New Orleans because of passenger's medical emergency

  • Man died at hospital; United says wife told medics he had COVID-19 symptoms

  • United working with CDC to trace passengers who may have had close exposure

United Airlines Flight 591 took off for Los Angeles on Monday, December 14 but was diverted to New Orleans because of a passenger's medical emergency.

As paramedics attended to the man, his wife reportedly told them that her husband had been exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, such as loss of taste and smell, a United spokesperson told CNN.

The man was pronounced dead at a hospital.

"We have been in touch with his family and have extended our sincerest condolences to them for their loss," United said in a statement to Spectrum News.

United said when the passenger first checked into the flight, he had filled out a "Ready-to-Fly" checklist, required for all passengers, acknowledging he had not tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 14 days and had no symptoms.

But "it is apparent he wrongly acknowledged this requirement," a United spokesperson told CNN.

The man's family said he suffered from pre-existing conditions, including high-blood pressure and upper respiratory issues, and was feeling sick leading up to the day of travel, CNN reported.

Medical staff initially diagnosed his cause of death as cardiac arrest. So after the man was treated in New Orleans, the flight continued on to L.A. 

"Now that the CDC has contacted us directly, we are sharing requested information with the agency so they can work with local health officials to conduct outreach to any customer the CDC believes may be at risk for possible exposure or infection," United told Spectrum News.