NEW YORK (WPIX) — Ten sick passengers were taken to the hospital after their international flight landed at Kennedy Airport, where it was inspected by officials trying to figure out why so many on board were feeling ill, officials said.
According to FOX40 sister station WPIX, of the more than 500 people on board, 19 people were sickened -- 10 of them were taken to a hospital while the other nine refused medical attention, a spokesman for Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office said. Seven of the people taken to the hospital were crew members. The remaining three people were passengers.
It appears they have the flu and health officials expect to determine exactly what they were sickened by later on Wednesday.
About 100 passengers and crew members on Flight 203 from Dubai complained of illness, including cough and some with fever, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a statement.
It’s not yet known what was making the passengers sick but their symptoms “point to the flu,” de Blasio spokesman Eric Phillips said.
Health officials evaluated the passengers as they deplaned, including taking their temperatures and making arrangements for those that needed care, the CDC said. Passengers who were not ill were allowed to continue with their travel plans.
As of 12:30 p.m., all of the passengers were off the plane, Phillips said.
The plane was scheduled to land in New York and touched down at about 9:15 a.m. A large emergency response, including personnel from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), was sent to the airport to meet them.
Phillips initially said the plane was not allowed to go to the terminal but instead had been quarantined. Later, a spokesperson for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said the aircraft was not quarantined but was inspected.
Rapper Vanilla Ice tweeted from the upper deck of the plane, saying, "This is crazy. Apparently there is over 100 people sick on the bottom floor, so happy I'm up top, it's a double-decker plane 380."