By JON CRONIN
A flight from Dubai to John F. Kennedy International Airport was quarantined by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on Wednesday morning with reports of a number of the 521 passengers feeling ill.
The flight landed at approximately 9:06 a.m. and was met by CDC physicians and ambulances, according to reports.
Benjamin N. Haynes, the senior press officer of the CDC’s Infectious Disease Media Team, wrote in an email to the Queens Tribune at 11 a.m. that 100 passengers, including some crew, were ill with cough and fever.
He reported that officials were working with “Port Authority, EMS and CBP [U.S. Customs and Border Protection] officials to evaluate passengers, including taking temperatures and making arrangements for transport to local hospitals for those who need care.”
Haynes added that once evaluated, “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.”
Later in the afternoon, Haynes stated that 11 passengers were sent to the hospital for care.
“We are requesting the passengers who have been evaluated and released to call their provider and health department if they develop any symptoms, and to give their travel history and report of incident,” he said. “They may receive a follow-up call from their health department just as a check-in.”
Eric Phillips, the press secretary for Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office, tweeted in the early afternoon, “Health officials are processing tests now to determine the cause. Symptoms still pointing to the flu.”
Fashion model Erin Sykes, a passenger on the flight, tweeted a video of a flight attendant asking the passengers to keep luggage out of the plane’s aisle. She also stated in another tweet that many of the passengers should never have been allowed to board due to their illness.
She tweeted, “@emirates worst flight ever Dubai to NYC; plane was basically a flying infermary [sic]. Many of these people should never have been allowed to board. Now sitting on the ground after 14 hour flight unable to leave. @EmiratesSupport #emirates #worstairline”