Emirates Plane Quarantined at JFK After Passengers, Crew Show Flu-Like Symptoms

An Emirates flight from Dubai was quarantined at New York’s JFK International Airport today after numerous people fell ill on board, with flu or a similar virus suspected.

Ten passengers from Flight EK203 — three passengers and seven crew members — were taken to Jamaica Hospital for treatment and evaluation.

More than 500 passengers from the Airbus A380 were screened by medical officials onsite and released. “Our crew & on-ground staff extended full cooperation with the authorities during the onboard screenings & the aircraft has now been handed back to Emirates,” the airline tweeted.

The return flight from JFK to Dubai was delayed by about three hours. “We apologise to our customers for any inconvenience caused. The safety and wellbeing of our customers and crew is always our top priority,” Emirates added.

With symptoms of fever, vomiting and coughing, officials suspected either type A influenza or Middle East Respiratory Syndrome. A spokesman for the NYC mayor’s office said some of the patients may have traveled from Mecca, where Saudis are weathering a flu outbreak, to Dubai.

Rapper Vanilla Ice, who said he was on the upper level of the plane where he didn’t see anyone ill, live tweeted the incident.

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