Emirates Airline Aibus A380 Flight quarantined in New York after 100 fall ill

A jetliner with 521 passengers aboard was grounded at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport after approximately 100 travellers reported feeling ill.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the ailing passengers, along with some crew members, complained of illness, including cough and fever during the flight.

Emergency crews waited on the tarmac as Emirates flight 203 from Dubai landed in New York at approximately 9:10 a.m. Wednesday morning.

Emirates Airline would only confirm that “about 10” people had taken ill aboard the flight in a statement on Twitter.

“On arrival, as a precaution, they were attended to by local health authorities. All others will disembark shortly. The safety & care of our customers is our first priority,” the statement said.

Eric Phillips, the press secretary for New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, confirmed the plane had been quarantined and teams from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) were attending the scene.

By noon, he said 10 sick people had been transported to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center and another eight sick passengers were being examined at the airport.

The other travellers were being checked for symptoms one by one before they were cleared to head to customs.

The CDC said their public health officers were working with the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, EMS, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials to take passengers’ temperatures and make arrangements for transport to hospital.

“Passengers who are not ill will be allowed to continue with their travel plans, and if necessary will be followed up with by health officials,” the CDC said in a statement.

It’s still unclear what the source of the illness might be. Phillips said earlier the flight had stopped in Mecca, which is experiencing a flu outbreak.

“Early indications point to that as a POSSIBILITY,” he tweeted in the morning.

He later corrected himself and said the flight from Dubai was direct to New York and that some of the ill passengers had travelled from Mecca before the flight.

The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey said they’re evaluating the situation, but didn’t provide any further information.

The New York Police Department’s Counterterrorism Bureau said they were monitoring what appears to be a “medical situation” at the airport.

Passenger Larry Coben shared photos on Twitter of ambulances and police cars lined up on the tarmac from his plane seat window.

“All we have been told is that some passengers have fallen ill and we should remain in our seats,” he tweeted on Wednesday morning.

Later in the morning, Coben uploaded more photos showing passengers having their temperature taken by CDC officials as they disembarked. Just after 11 a.m., he tweeted that he had cleared customs and was on his way home.

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