MARTA train evacuated after passenger with allergic reaction joked about having monkeypox

EAST POINT, Ga. — Officials evacuated a MARTA train after a rider overheard another passenger say they had monkeypox.

The incident happened around 3:15 p.m. Monday on a train heading to the East Point station.

According to MARTA, a rider called MARTA police after they heard the passenger’s claims. When the train arrived at the station, officials evacuated the train and had EMS check out the passenger who said they were sick.

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On Tuesday, MARTA gave an update on the passenger and said they were having an allergic reaction and joked about it being monkeypox.

The other passengers boarded another train. Meanwhile, MARTA took the empty train to a rail yard so officials could clean and disinfect it.

“While this incident was a misunderstanding, MARTA continues to take the health and safety of our customers and employees seriously. According to the Georgia Department of Public Health, monkeypox is spread through skin-to-skin or other close contact and the chances of transmission in a public setting are low. Unlike COVID, it is not transmissible through the air but we encourage customers to continue wearing masks for their comfort. Frequent handwashing also remains an effective way to reduce the transmission of most illnesses. Additionally, MARTA will continue the routine cleaning and disinfection of all vehicles implemented during COVID and any in-service cleaning necessitated by a sick patron,” the agency said in a statement.


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are more than 8,900 cases nationwide. In Georgia, there are 625 cases as of Monday, the CDC website shows.

Channel 2 Action News spoke with Dr. Jayne Morgan, executive director of the COVID-19 Task Force for Piedmont Healthcare Corporation, and asked her how transmissible the virus is and what, in addition to getting the vaccine, can people do to stay monkeypox-free.

“You can get it from sharing towels and sharing linens, if the person who used the towel or slept in that bed is infected with the monkeypox virus,” Morgan said. “The normal cleaning and disinfecting processes should be maintained.”

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