Airborne (House)

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House episode
Episode no.Season 3
Episode 18
Directed byElodie Keene
Written byDavid Hoselton
Original air dateApril 10, 2007
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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House (season 3)
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"Airborne" is the eighteenth episode of the third season of House, the sixty-fourth episode overall.


House is returning from a pandemics symposium in Singapore with Cuddy. During the flight, a Korean man, Peng, sitting next to House begins vomiting. He also presents with fever, headache, abdominal pain and petechial rashes on his lower back. Cuddy notes that these are classic symptoms of meningococcal disease and that an outbreak might be imminent. House is not convinced there is a problem, and persuades the flight crew not to turn the plane around.

Soon another passenger becomes ill with the same symptoms and House assembles a makeshift diagnostic team. After a discussion with his "team", House is convinced that both passengers are sick with ciguatera poisoning because they both ate seafood.

This theory is contradicted by Cuddy, who is showing similar symptoms despite having not eaten the sea bass. Cuddy persuades House to do a lumbar puncture to confirm meningitis, but the test comes back negative. When Cuddy begins to shout at House to cure the sickness quickly, he realizes that she and the rest of the plane are suffering from mass hysteria.

Peng, however, is still dying; House believes he is a drug mule and has cocaine in his system. Searching through Peng's wallet, House finds a scuba license and a receipt for scuba gear rental. Peng is diagnosed with decompression sickness, which was further worsened by boarding an airplane. Cuddy tells the flight crew to drop the plane below 5,000 feet (1,500 m) and get Peng oxygen.

Meanwhile, at the hospital, a 58-year-old woman, Fran, has been admitted with unexplained seizures and vision loss. After lying about where she was, Fran admits that she just arrived from a trip to Caracas, where she had unprotected sex and used cocaine. Chase and Cameron visit Fran's house to search for clues, and return without a diagnosis, leaving Foreman to believe that Fran is bleeding into her brain. Chase realizes neither Fran nor her cat have eaten in the last few days, and discovers that when the neighbors had their home fumigated, some of the poison entered Fran's house. Fran is diagnosed with methyl bromide toxicity.

At the end of the episode, Chase suggests that he and Cameron take their relationship to the next level. Cameron responds that all she was looking for was sex.

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