More flights struck by mystery illness
HEALTH authorities in the United States have quarantined all passengers and crew on two flights which arrived in Philadelphia with sick passengers on board, days after an illness struck an Emirates flight.
The two American Airlines flights landed at Philadelphia International Airport on Thursday afternoon, local time, one from Munich, the other from Paris.
All 250 passengers and crew from both flights were held for medical review after 12 people became ill will flu-like symptoms, airline spokeswoman told Reuters.
The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was notified, Philadelphia International Airport said in a statement.
"As a precaution, all passengers on the two flights - totalling about 250 plus crew - were held for a medical review and the CDC was notified," the statement said.
"CDC, the Philadelphia Health Department and the Philadelphia Fire Department personnel performed medical evaluations and assessments. The passengers - except for the 12 affected - are in the process of being released. Airport operations were not impacted during this time," the statement read, according to Fox News.
According to the CDC, none of the passengers reportedly had fevers and none were "severely ill".
"Twelve passengers from the two flights reported sore throat and cough; none were identified with fever. None of the passengers are severely ill, and they will be released and informed of test results in 24 hours," the CDC said.
"Passengers from the two flights who were not ill continued with their travel plans. We will have more information as test results are confirmed."
The reported illness come as authorities in New York confirmed 10 passengers and crew members on an Emirates from Dubai had the flu.
Flight 203 landed at New York's JFK International Airport on Wednesday, local time, with as many as 100 people on board feeling ill.
Eric Phillips, spokesman for New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, said it appeared that some of the sick passengers had come from Mecca, which was experiencing a flu outbreak.
"Health officials are processing tests now to determine the cause. Symptoms still pointing to the flu," he tweeted.
Nineties pop star Vanilla Ice was among the 521 passengers on board the flight.
"This is crazy," he tweeted. "Apparently there is over 100 people sick on the bottom floor, so happy I'm up top, it's a double-decker plane 380."
When the plane touched down, it was immediately surrounded by dozens of ambulances and other emergency vehicles as anxious passengers waited to be evaluated by health officials.
Three passengers and seven crew members were taken to hospital, Dubai-based Emirates said.
"Nine passengers underwent additional medical screening at the site near the aircraft and were released afterwards," an Emirates spokeswoman said.
"The rest of the passengers were allowed to leave and clear customs."
New York City health officials said they obtained respiratory samples from the patients and their symptoms look like influenza.
They said they won't know for sure until they get final results.
All of the patients were listed in stable condition.
Dubai-based Emirates said in a statement that 10 people "were taken ill" on the flight from the Middle Eastern country and were transported to nearby Jamaica Hospital in Queens "as a precaution".