Travel Trouble

Thu, 6 Sep, 2018Basmah Qazi

10 people hospitalised after Emirates flight to New York

10 people hospitalised after Emirates flight to New York

The 10 passengers and crew members who were hospitalised in New York City after arriving sick on a flight from Dubai appear to have the flu.

New York City health officials say they obtained respiratory samples from the patients and their symptoms look like influenza. They say they won't know for sure until they get final results. All of the patients were listed in stable condition.

It follows them being taken to hospital for "further medical care and evaluation" after the quarantining of a flight from Dubai in New York.

Around 100 passengers reported unknown illnesses. People complained of cough and fever on the Emirates flight, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention said in a statement. 

Initially, as many as 19 people had been confirmed unwell, NBC New York reported, with 10 taken to hospital.

Health officials met the plane on the ground at John F Kennedy International Airport, and medics and federal customs agents took temperatures of passengers and evaluated symptoms.

Emirates released a statement apologising for the inconvenience, saying the health and safety of those on board was its main priority.

"Emirates can confirm that all passengers have disembarked from flight EK203.

"All passengers were screened by the local health authorities prior to disembarkation and 3 passengers and 7 crew were transferred to the hospital for further medical care and evaluation. Nine passengers underwent additional medical screening at the site near the aircraft and were released afterwards. 

"The rest of the passengers were allowed to leave and clear customs. Our crew and on ground staff extended our full cooperation with the authorities during the onboard screenings and the aircraft has now been handed back to Emirates," the statement said.

There were 521 passengers on board Flight EK203, the CDC said.

The office of New York Mayor Bill de Blasio described the response as a quarantine.

Emirates initially said at least 10 passengers had unspecified illnesses on the flight, but it is unclear why there was a wide disparity in numbers.

Photos from passengers show rows of ambulances and firetrucks on the tarmac. Larry Coben said on Twitter that fellow passengers were asked to fill out CDC forms detailing where people have recently travelled.

One of those onboard the plane was rapper Vanilla Ice.

He posted footage from the scene on his social media, writing, "This is crazy. Apparently, there is over 100 people sick on the bottom floor, so happy I'm up top, it's a double-decker plane 380."

Written by Alex Horton. Republished with permission of Stuff.co.nz.

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