About 100 people fall ill on Emirates flight to New York

CDC public health officers were working with other agencies to evaluate passengers.

By REUTERS
September 5, 2018 19:24
2 minute read.
Emirates plane

Emirates plane 311. (photo credit: AP)

 
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NEW YORK - As many as 100 passengers and crew reported feeling ill on Wednesday during an Emirates flight from Dubai to New York, and health workers were evaluating them as the airplane sat on the tarmac of JFK International Airport, authorities said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in a statement that about 100 people complained of feeling sick on Emirates Flight 521, which landed with some 500 passengers shortly after 9 a.m. EDT (1300 GMT) at John F. Kennedy International Airport. Their symptoms included cough and fever.

Earlier, Dubai-based Emirates said in a statement that 10 passengers "were taken ill" on the flight from the Middle Eastern country and were transported to a hospital. It did not specify the symptoms or nature of the complaints.

The airplane involved was a double-deck Airbus A388 - the world's largest passenger aircraft, according to FlightAware.com.

For several hours, the plane was held in quarantine while authorities triaged patients and examined the situation.

CDC public health officers were working with other agencies to evaluate passengers, including taking temperatures and making arrangements for transport to hospitals, spokesman Benjamin Haynes said in the statement. Passengers who were not ill were eventually allowed to continue with their travel plans, he said.

Some sick passengers were taken to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center with non-life-threatening conditions, according to a New York City Fire Department spokesman.


White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said they were monitoring the situation and President Donald Trump was being updated as new information became available.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has been briefed on the incident, spokesman Eric Phillips wrote on Twitter.

Phillips is continuing to update the public on the situation via Twitter, saying 432 passengers have been cleared and others are being treated.


Larry Cohen, who identified himself as one of the passengers aboard the plane, uploaded photos on Twitter showing dozens of police and emergency vehicles waiting outside the plane on the tarmac.

"All we have been told is that there are some sick passengers and that we need to remain on board," Cohen told Reuters via Twitter messaging.


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